Beware of scammers at OR Tambo

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Beware of scammers at OR Tambo

Taschica Pillay | 2017-01-25 17:17:55.0

O.R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. File Photo.

Image by: Gallo Images/Foto24/Brendan Croft

International travellers are being scammed for their dollars on a daily basis at OR Tambo International Airport.

That’s according to tour guide Ron McGregor‚ who claimed that tourists were being conned of their money in exchange for help within the terminal building.

On Sunday two elderly American travellers were approached by locals who offered to help them through the security area before asking for US$100 (R1‚300).

The two were among a group of 17 who were en route to Durban from Cape Town via Johannesburg.

McGregor said the two visitors were heading into the security area which was congested and asked someone if that was the line for their flight to Durban.

“The perpetrators must have been watching them because they approached the couple and said they will show them a faster way. Unsuspecting they went along and thought they were officials. They were taken to a side entrance and ushered into a different area. It was then that they asked for $100. The travellers then realised they were being scammed and decided they were not going to part with that amount of money. They paid $10 to make them go away.

“They didn’t know who to go to because they knew they had a plane to catch. They then just told me about what happened when we arrived in Durban. Although it was very distressing for them‚ they were not alone‚ but part of an escorted tour. It was just at that time that we split‚” said McGregor.

McGregor said the perpetrators were harassing travellers daily.

“There are people who claim they will guide passengers through the terminal‚ and are demanding dollars. Locals know when they are going to be scammed. Foreigners are nervous and don’t want to be rude or offensive‚” said McGregor.

Bongiwe Pityi‚ OR Tambo International Airport’s general manager‚ confirmed that the incident was brought to their attention by a tourist guide.

“Several suspects have been identified. No arrests have been made yet and the investigation is continuing. Security routines and procedures have been changed and further strengthened‚” said Pityi.

She said they will under no circumstances tolerate corruption and abuse of the travelling public.

“We assure passengers that we will investigate and respond decisively to any incidents of corruption that we encounter or that are brought to our attention. At the same time‚ we must draw attention to the fact that corruption has both supply and demand dimensions. Passengers should under no circumstances succumb to offers and invitations that are corrupt in nature. Any attempts to lure or compel passengers to pay bribes should not only be declined‚ but also reported immediately to one of the information desks.

“There is no justification‚ moral or otherwise‚ for jumping a queue by accepting offers to ‘help’ you or by offering bribes to take a short cut. Please remember also that the same legal sanction applies not only to staff that solicit bribes‚ but also to those who offer bribes or who pay them when solicited‚” said Pityi.

-TMG Digital/The Times



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