Watch-out for false prophets in the East

Residents warned to be on the look-out for false prophets who pretend that they want to help people with their problems.

Mamelodi police have warned residents to be on the look-out for false prophets who pretend they want to help people, only to rob them of their money or belongings.

Police spokesperson Captain Johannes Maheso said it was that time of the year when criminals up their activity ahead of the festive season.

“Several cases have been reported at the station where victims were robbed by ‘prophets’.”

He said someone had reported being accosted by a “prophet sent by god to remove the dark cloud hanging over them”.

“Of course it was a ruse to part the poor person with his money.

“Sometimes the victims are told if they were not prayed for, they’d lose their loved ones.

“Some victims get lured to the mountains or isolated areas after being told that’s the best, quiet place to pray, only to be robbed,” Maheso said.

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He said sometimes robbers left money on the ground and when someone picked it up, they approach and demand that they share the find. The victim would be lured to a secluded area where they were robbed.

Maheso also warned residents not to withdrawn large sums of money at ATMs. “Rather swipe your card to purchase your groceries or clothes.

“Also do not to allow strangers to help at an ATM.”

The Mamelodi police also alerted members of social clubs and stokvels to be careful how they handled their money at this time of the year.

“Criminals will be ready, knowing that members will be sharing cash they have been accumulating throughout the year.

“Social club members must take extra precautions when withdrawing their hard-earned money and better transfer the money into members’ accounts to prevent them falling victim to theft.

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“We’ve had cases in the past where social club members withdrew large amounts of money only to be robbed,” he said.

Maheso said the police would be visible during the festive season and host crime awareness campaigns to give tips to the public.

Any crime or any suspicious people must be reported to the police on 08600-10111.


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