Cape Town warns of housing fraudsters

The City of Cape Town has warned prospective housing beneficiaries to be weary of fraudsters posing as community representatives.

The city said fraudsters posing as community representatives are active across city but tend to target areas where the city is set to commence with new housing developments.

“Residents are advised to exercise caution and not to hand over any cash if solicited. We’ve heard about fraudsters who are targeting residents living in Retreat. They pose as community representatives and arrange so-called community meetings for those registered on the city’s housing database or for those still wanting to register.

“They often ask for a cover charge from those attending the meetings, and promise to give those who pay preferential treatment in the allocation or building of new houses,” said the city’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Brett Herron.

Herron assured residents that the city will never ask money in exchange for a housing opportunity.

“The moment somebody makes such an offer you should know that the person is a fraud,” said Herron.

The city allocates housing opportunities to those who are registered on the housing database and in accordance with its allocation policy.

“Nobody can jump the queue on the waiting list for a house. Residents should be aware of opportunists offering special advice and operating in areas under the guise of providing housing to those registered on our housing database,” said Herron.

To qualify for housing opportunities, residents must be registered on the city’s housing database. Those who are already registered must regularly update their personal details.

The city gave residents some key pointers including:

To find out whether you are registered on the City’s housing database, send an SMS with your ID number followed by a space and your surname to 44108.
You can also visit any housing office, or contact the call centre on 021 444 0333 to update your information, or to register on the database.

“I want to urge residents who have been approached by these fraudsters to please report the incident to their local police station, or at their nearest housing office. Please take note of the person’s name and contact details, and any other information that may assist with the investigation,” said Councillor Herron.

– SAnews.gov.za