Works contractors warned of con artists

National, Normal


THE Works Department has warned its contractors to be careful when receiving phone calls from strangers asking for money.
Acting deputy secretary for Works (technical), Gabriel Tomtai, said this was because there were people out there pretending to be Works officials and getting money from the public.
Tomtai made this call after a Tom Higgins from Maybank Johnsons Ltd, a contractor of Works, became the victim to con artists and lost money through dubious phone calls.
In the Higgins case, Tomtai said a con artist rang the victim claiming to be Hans Saruva, the deputy secretary for Works (technical), and asked for money.
According to a notice put out in last Monday’s Post-Courier, Works warned its contractors that since the beginning of this month there had been many instances where substantial amounts of cash had been deposited into personal accounts of perpetrators posing to be Works executives.  
Tomtai said the notice was to caution Works contractors to know who they were dealing with and a reminder to Works officers to be alert and vigilant of impostors.
Meanwhile, Tomtai said Works was in the process of awarding contracts to consultants to supervise the construction of crucial sections of the Highlands Highway under the highlands region road investment improvement programme.
The programme was funded by Asian Development Bank  at the cost of A$400 million and would be focusing on core road networks in the highlands region totalling around 2,500km.