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Fraudsters target farming communities

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The Department of Labour says it is aware of reports of individuals posing as officials of the department.

These would-be criminals are targeting the farming community in and around Bethlehem area in the Free State province.

At this stage, it is not yet known what type of crimes they intend to commit, how and when.
They go to farms identifying themselves as officials from the department and use unmarked vehicles. However, they have no identity cards.

“We resolved to be pro-active and warn employers, workers as well as the general public to be vigilant since the department does not yet know when and how will they strike.

“Members of the public are further urged to contact their local police should they suspect any foul play during their interactions with people claiming to be officials of the Department of Labour,” said Nomfundo Douw-Jack, the Chief Director of Provincial Operations.

The South African Police Service has called on members of the public to come forward with information that may lead to the arrest of these individuals.

Douw-Jack shared the following tips to protect the public from fraudster:

A labour official will always use a departmental email address in his/her correspondence and
These officials always carry and should, upon request, produce identity cards and/or appointment letters with the department’s letterhead and own Persal (employee) number.

The department said fraudsters do try to manufacture their own identity cards and appointment letters. It encouraged employers to contact the Department of Labour HR office should they suspect foul play. The number to call is 051 505 6230/31.

Alternatively, they can contact fraud hotline on 08600 22 194 / fraud@labour.gov.za. – SAnews.gov.za