Warning against fraudulent requests for procurement of goods on behalf of the Department of Environmental Affairs
09 October 2015
The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) warns the public regarding an organised syndicate(s) scamming unsuspecting service providers and claiming to act on behalf of the Department, using the departmental logo.
The Department has received numerous enquiries from service providers regarding the legitimacy of Requests For Quotations (RFQs) seemingly received from the “Department of Environmental Affairs”.
The syndicate operates by posing as DEA and sending RFQs to service providers, usually requesting a type of pump which can only be sourced from a specific company, which itself is part of the syndicate. The service providers then contact the pumps company, obtain quotations and revert to the fraudulent DEA with a quotation, thereafter receiving a purchase order.
The fraudulent pumps company requests payment upfront in order to deliver the goods, which do not exist. Once the service provider has paid, the pumps company cuts off communication. The fraudsters posing as DEA then request the service provider to invoice the legitimate DEA and also cease communication.
Service providers are advised of the following red flags:
- The beginning of the telephone number used after the area code in the fraudulent RFQs, is not consistent with the telephone number of the national Department of Environmental Affairs. The quotations state the number (012) 757 8739, however the legitimate telephone numbers of DEA begin with (012) 399;
- The bogus number converts to a cellphone line when called;
- The bogus email address used is @environmentgov.co.za, whilst the legitimate DEA email address is @environment.gov.za;
- The officials named on the RFQs do not exist or are not employees of DEA;
- Items other than pumps may be used in this scam.
The Department calls on all service providers to be on the alert for these criminals. Service providers are to verify the legitimacy of purchase orders and RFQs with the Director: Supply Chain Management in the National Department of Environmental Affairs by emailing: email@example.com or calling +27 86 1112468.
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