Pool builder prevents R145000 loss to bogus callers
OWNERS of pool companies in East London want to expose a scam that has been doing the rounds lately, warning others to be vigilant of the con.
According to Pacific Pools owner, Kate Godfrey, it all starts with a phone call. Godfrey said that companies will receive a call from someone who claims she is Neo Manana from the Department of Health. She tells companies that they (the company) have
been awarded a tender by the government to supply water pumps to homes. They then e-mail you documents with the Department of Health’s letter head attached – and contact details.
The description of the water pump, as written on the quotation form, is a VRC 720 water pump. When you search for this kind of water pump on Google, it directs you to a Lampard Investment website, which according to Godfrey, belongs to the scammers.
Lampard Investment is the company you buy the water pump from, which according to Godfrey, is also bogus. Pacific Pools were almost on the receiving end of the scamsters and if they fell for their scam, they would have deposited R145000 into Lampard’s account.
“When we first got the call, my husband Steve and I did not know how the tendering process goes. We thought maybe someone had recommended us or something and it is worth a shot. We did everything that was asked,” Godfrey said.
“[That was] until my sister, who also owns her own business, asked if we had ever submitted anything to the department, which we did not. She told me that no government employee will call you and tell you that you have been awarded a tender. We then noticed that the Tax invoice had no VAT number. After realising this, we also discovered that this kind of pump did not exist , ” she said.
After submitting some of the documents, Manana said she would take it to finance. The finance department headed by someone called Patience, would then pay them their money. “She told us that the department usually pays within 21 days, but they would pay us within seven days,” Godfrey said.
The address on Lampard Investment’s website is 22 Kaymor Street, Stikland Industrial, Cape Town.
“Kaymor Street in Stikland Industrial does exist, but there is no number 22,” she said.
The GO! also discovered the address did not exist, after its own investigation, with numbers only going up to 16.
The Beacon Bay police station showed Godfrey files of other cases that had been opened reporting the same scam when she reported the matter to them.
Norman’s Pool Centre owner, Justin Taylor, said he knew about the scam because he was asked by the same people in Pretoria to
supply 200 water pumps and, upon speaking to one of his suppliers in Pretoria, they told him that he should not trust the
“My other question was, why would a company in Pretoria ask a company in East London for these water pumps.
The police had not commented on the matter at the time of going to print.