An alert put out by the Hout Bay Community Policing Forum (CPF) is warning Capetonians to beware of a sinister new scam that feeds off the growing fear of the Covid-19 virus.
According to the alert, the scam is known to operate in the neighbourhood of Constantia. “The suspects were apparently well dressed, had official looking paperwork and swabs. No door-to-door testing is being done in SA at this point so do not allow strangers into your home,” the CPF said in a statement.
Director of LeadSA, Yusuf Abramjee, also put out an alert warning Constantia residents to beware of the dangers of allowing the scammers into their homes.
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) March 15, 2020
“My daughter just had two people knock on the door [of her Constantia home], claiming to be from Netcare doing door-to-door Covid-19 tests to assist the Western Cape Government,” Abramjee’s alert reads. “She refused to let them in, but her neighbour did and they were subsequently robbed of two cellphones. They looked very official and used a proper swab too.”
Currently, there are no door-to-door coronavirus tests in the Western Cape, and residents are advised not to let anyone who claims to do so into their homes. Netcare has also announced that it has no door-to-door Covid-19 testing service.
“Netcare has been made aware that criminals are going to homes in various areas, claiming to be from Netcare or Netcare 911, and saying that they are assisting the Department of Health with door-to-door screening for COVID-19 (coronavirus),” Netcare said in a statement. “Please note that staff members from the Netcare Group, including from Netcare hospitals, Netcare 911 or Medicross medical and dental centres, are NOT doing door-to-door COVID-19 screening. Should someone claiming to be a representative from Netcare, Netcare 911 or Medicross arrive at your home or business premises claiming to do screening for the novel coronavirus, do not allow them onto your property or inside your business premises for your own safety but please alert the SAPS immediately.”
If you really believe the fraudster is authentic, ask for a form of identification and call the company the individual claims to work for. Do not trust a number provided by the individual you suspect is a fraudster; rather search for one online and call it to confirm.
Picture: DNA Diagnostics Centre