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Scammers entice Eskom customers with cheap electricity

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 08 Dec 2023
Power utility Eskom has warned customers of a social media scam.
Power utility Eskom has warned customers of a social media scam.

Eskom has become the latest entity to be targeted in a social media scam intended to get its customers to buy unofficial electricity units.

In a statement, Eskom warns customers of scammers falsely advertising prepaid electricity on social media platforms such as Facebook, X and WhatsApp. The scammers are offering 600 units for R300 and 2 000 units for R400, says the power utility.

“The scammers do not provide bank details for deposits, but rather utilise money market, e-wallet or CashSend payments for the unsuspecting customers to send money, as these transactions are hard to trace,” explains Botse Sikhwitshi, acting GM for security at Eskom.

“To convince the customer to make a payment, the scammers would provide 20-digit recharge PINs with the last three digits blanked out.

“The unsuspecting customer will be told that the last three digits will only become visible when the money is received. Once the customer pays the money, the scammer will go and withdraw such deposits, after which the customer will either be given the last three digits that do not work, or the scammer just disappears, throwing away their SIM card, which would not have been RICA-listed, and move to the next target.”

Eskom has advised customers to make use of legal vending points to buy electricity units, including banks, retail shops, smartphones, the internet and ATMs.

The Southern African Fraud Prevention Service previously stated digitalisation and social media have exposed South Africa to more risk, with a significant rise in fraud – specifically money mule and impersonation scams.

In November, Sun International was the victim of a social media scam offering accommodation and dinner at any Sun City hotel for R25. The post on Facebook claimed Sun International was giving away 200 nights, each to the value of R8 657, at any of its Sun City resorts.