Impersonation Crimes

We all know this is not a new craze or scheme that criminals have implemented. But it has been used more regularly the last few months in house robberies. The perpetrators impersonate a government official or delivery person to gain access to your property and consequently rob your house empty.

In one incident in Ferndale, two ladies rang the intercom and claimed to be from the City of Joburg. The domestic, alone at home at the time, knew not to let anyone in without proper proof that they should or are allowed to be there. However, these two ladies knew the names of the owners as well as their contact numbers. Stating that X had contacted them to check on the property’s electricity meter. The domestic worker let the ladies in, after which she was tied up and the entire house was swept.

This is very concerning. They somehow obtained the names of the owners of the property. Be it by reading their City of Joburg bill or bank statements that were dropped off via normal postage. They also knew when the owners will be out and the domestic will be home alone.

Try to avoid being put in a situation where your mail is open to the public to read. Sign up to receive all your bills electronically. Not only does it help to save paper, but also narrows the chances of someone intercepting these documents to steal your information or to learn more about you and your property.

One should always ensure that your domestic worker or gardener or anyone who is left alone on the property in your absence, knows when and if a delivery will be made or a government official will need to visit the property for any reason. If someone does show up without prior knowledge to the person at home, they should be able to contact you and find out whether this is a legit visit or delivery and whether to let the person in.

If, however, the perpetrators do get access to your property, you should ensure that your domestic worker, gardener or anyone home alone knows how to signal for help and keep their safety as first priority.

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