The one about the Nanny and the Delivery Man …. and the scam

I have a Nanny/Housekeeper who works for me.  She told me this story last week.

We were expecting a pest control company to stop by the house and do the spray thing to get rid of ants, fleas, and other unwelcome house guests.

{On a side note, if you are looking for an excellent pest control company in Cape Town, contact Rod Bendix Environmental Care on  021 555 3788 or 082 823 0247 – I have used them for years and they are brilliant.}

I leave the house and tell Priv about the pest control company and they will stop by later that day.  I am out for the day in various meetings, so I will not be able to pick up my phone until after 16h00.

A bit later in the morning guys arrive at the front gate, buzz and ask to be let in.

Priv asks for what.  They explain they are here to install a security system.

Priv explains she does not have permission to let them in.

They start to create a scene and explain they have a receipt.  The job has been paid for and they must do it today, or they are going to go and not come back, and it will be all her fault.

They are really pushy and confident and start to get quite harassed with her, and her inability to see reason.

Priv goes down to the gate, and does not open the gate, so she can see what they have with them –  they are insisting they have a paid and signed receipt, and instructions to be at our home.

The guys start really making a fuss, and waving around a piece of paper in front of her with our details on it and insisting we have paid for the alarm system, and her not letting them in will have all sorts of repercussions.

It is on their booking sheet, and if they do not get in now to install it, then she will need to realise that she will get into trouble.  They are really putting pressure on her to let them in – and being all “we are in a rush, stop monkeying around woman” sort of tone with her.

Priv recalls an article she has read in the recent neighbourhood newspaper, about how people steal your mail, and then use the details on envelopes to create a “receipt.”

They use this to gain access to property via the domestic who usually is swayed by the “official looking document.”

Priv takes one look at this situation and goes: “Well I don’t understand why you need to install an alarm when we have one, and it is working, and it is on.”  She starts asking their names and says she will call the owners to check with them.

The guys carry on insisting, and Priv INSISTS  she will call the owners, and reaches for her phone.

The guys then start to back track and question what the house number is — and they start to make a scene that they have got the wrong house and and  ….. eventually they leave.

We did not get a call from a company about installing anything, that we have paid for.  Nor did these guys pop along to a neighbour as they had made a mistake with the street number.  Our road is so short you can see the top of the road from our house, and our house is the house at the end – so had they made an error, they would have driven to a neighbour.

Priv is a hero for reading the neighbourhood paper, and sticking to the rule of not letting ANYONE in, no matter whom, if she does not have our express permission.

Maybe this incident has been repeating itself at other homes –  maybe these guys are getting access into houses with this simple but effective scam.

It makes sense to tell the person at home about this SCAM, so they are aware of anyone arriving with a delivery/collection or installation and they appear to have the correct documents.

Stealing your mail seems a really easy way to set this one up so that it looks very authentic.

I can’t imagine (I can, but I choose not to) what could have happened had these guys gained access to our property.  Hells bells, too traumatic to think about.

Be safe people, be safe!