Scammer impersonates Wally Serote
E-mails from anti-apartheid activist, poet and writer Wally Serote begging for money to pay for his air ticket back to South Africa are a scam.
An internet scammer pretending to be Serote has been using the poet's e-mail to send out requests for money to his e-mail contacts.
The imposter claims to be stuck in Madrid, Spain, and in need of about?1.250 (R14.415) to pay for his air ticket back to South Africa as well as his hotel bills.
The e-mails went viral yesterday with Serote receiving more than 30 phone calls by lunch time from worried friends.
"I was made aware of the scam when someone called me at 2am [yesterday] wanting to know if I was okay.
"Someone has broken into my e-mail and is now using it to scam people for money. My computer is also jammed. I haven't been able to use it since this morning, all my passwords aren't working," Serote said yesterday.
Sowetan has seen the string of e-mails sent out by an imposter using the name Mongane Serote.
"I don't have a phone with me. I lost my wallet in a taxi on my way to the hotel, where my money and other valuable things were kept. Please I need your urgent assistance with some money," writes the fraudster.
"I will pay you back, as soon as I return. Please let me know if you can be of any help, money can be sent to me through Western Union or Moneygram," reads the e-mail.
In later e-mails the imposter elevates his request to "a matter of urgency", claiming that he had been kicked out of the hotel for failing to pay the bills.
Serote said he was worried that some people may believe the e-mails and send money.
"I will be going to the police today," he said. -firstname.lastname@example.org