AN Umtentweni pensioner is R5 000 out of pocket after handing over her hard-earned savings to a man who claimed to be able to reduce her electricity bill with the use of a simple apparatus.
The woman said she received a phone call from someone wanting to make an appointment with her at her home to discuss ‘energy saving’.
“The caller claimed to be calling from Eskom and asked if I was interested in saving electricity. I agreed and an appointment was set up,” she explained.
But the ‘salesman’ who arrived on the appointed day was not an Eskom employee.
“However his pitch was a good one and I was swayed by the promised huge reduction I would be getting on my electricity account.”
The pensioner says she only agreed to being visited in her home because of the claim the telesales person made that they were calling from Eskom.
The ‘salesman’ promised to return with the apparatus after she handed him the R5 000.
Two other pensioners from the Umtentweni area have also been contacted by the con artist to purchase this apparatus.
“Energy saving is a buzz phrase of our times and there’s no shortage of entrepreneurs setting up businesses to take advantage of the trend,” said an Eskom spokesman who warned consumers to always be vigilant and not allow anyone posing as an Eskom employee to enter their property on the pretence of coming to advise on energy efficiency.
“Currently criminals take advantage of the energy situation and are calling consumers to make appointments for energy advisory sessions. Eskom does not offer house calls to give energy advice.
“Itâ€™s never a good idea to sign up with the first salesman who does a pitch in your home, having got in the door in the first place by telling you they want to discuss ways to save electricity,” said the spokesman.