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Domestic workers warned about bogus officials

by BuaNews Online
on 15 Apr 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The Department of Labour has warned domestic employers and workers to be on the lookout for bogus officials who swindle people of their hard-earned cash.

Incidences have been reported in Cape Town, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Durban that officials were under the guise of collecting money for the burial of deceased domestic workers.

Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) spokesperson, Kgomotso Sebetso said the Department had been alerted to such unlawful activities by some of the victims of the scam.

Mr Sebetso said the perpetrators would phone residences during the day and identify themselves as UIF officials. They would then ask to speak to an unsuspecting domestic worker.

"The purpose of such a call would be to extract information about the workers employment status such as hours of work, salary, days of work and whether the employee sleeps in or out.

"They will also ask the employee their names, telephone numbers of the next of kin and telephone numbers of other domestic workers in the area," he said.

Mr Sebetso added that armed with the information, the perpetrator/s would then call the employer at the time they knew the worker was not on duty and act as a relative of the worker.

"They will then use the information gathered and swindle money out of the unsuspecting employer by claiming that the domestic worker has died in an accident and that money was therefore needed for the burial," said Mr Sebetso.

He said no UIF official was allowed to call employers or employees to demand money.

He said families of deceased UIF contributors need to approach any nearest labour centre to apply in person for death benefits.

"The Department of Labour's inspectors are the only officials who are allowed to carry out inspections by prior arrangements.

"They will have identification on them and still they are not allowed to receive money from employers. Our inspectors do not carry their business by phone," he warned.

He urged the public to immediately report such suspicious activities to the police.

He also urged domestic workers not to reveal any information with regard to their employment status to strangers and employers must not give out money to people claiming to be from the UIF. - BuaNews

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