Department of Public Works and Infrastructure warns the public against fraudulent order scams
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) has noted with concern the re-emergence of fraudulent order scams targeting unsuspecting service providers. This comes after a number of service providers came to the DPWI offices while others called, looking for officials whose names were fraudulently used in the bogus quotations for tenders.
This is an old scam where fraudulent orders are supplied by people who are unknown and have no link to the department, using names of current and former DPWI employees.
The fraudsters use the DPWI letterhead and contact details that do not belong to any employee of the DPWI. These criminals call unsuspecting service providers and email forged DPWI order documents and request the provision of expensive electronic
equipment, machinery and even vehicles. The unsuspecting service providers are then told to deliver the goods at locations usually close to DPWI offices and sites but never inside the official building/site. The fraudsters would then request for the invoice to be
electronically sent to a bogus email address before vanishing without paying for the goods, leaving victims with huge debts.
The use of DPWI official’s names in the scam, remains a big concern for the department because it poses serious security and reputational threats to both the employees and the department.
DPWI urges the public to always verify any correspondence they receive in the name of the department, requesting for the provision of services. It is also important to note that DPWI will never request for the delivery of goods in any location other than official offices, which will be marked with a clear signage indicating the name of the department.
Many businesses have lost millions at the hands of unscrupulous criminals masquerading as DPWI employees. The department has been working with the SAPS to report such cases as soon as we discover them. We also encourage any Service provider who has been scammed to do the same.
Source: Government of South Africa