R25m social media scam flagged by Home Affairs minister
The Hawks have been asked by Home Affairs Minister Ayanda Dlodlo to investigate what appears to be "a criminal syndicate operating in social networks"‚ her office said on Wednesday.
According to the Minister‚ "these impostors create numerous fake accounts - not just for misinformation and personal data compromise‚ which are common mischiefs on social media - but to extort money from unsuspecting patrons on social media‚ especially high profile personalities".
About a week ago‚ a fake account bearing the name of the Minister was created as a platform to solicit money through a purported contract deal to the amount of R25 million.
This “deal” is said to be a business venture between Minister Dlodlo and another Cabinet Minister in terms of which a member of the public is being asked for certain kind of information to qualify for a share of 50% in the purported transaction.
Denouncing it as fake‚ the Minister warned the public to be vigilant against this type of cyber-criminal activity.
Her office said: “The Minister of Home Affairs is not involved in any deal of the nature described in this fake correspondence‚ in addition‚ the Department of Home Affairs will also never ask people to pay money through social media for any of their services and anyone who comes across such requests should report these to the authorities.”
“We have detected incidents of fake social media accounts attempting to solicit money from members of the public and we have reported this matter to the Hawks for thorough investigation. We would also like to warn those who are involved in this illegal activity that the law will come hard on them‚” she added.