The Ministry of Finance has warned the public to be aware of a scam which disguises itself a direct communication to the Ministry. In the latest incident, a person who alleges to be the Minister of Finance contacts people via Facebook and requests money in return for funding their projects or business plans.

The ‘Minister of Finance’ also asks for their full names, home addresses and ID numbers.

“Neither the ministry nor National Treasury assists individuals or businesses with the funding of their projects or business plans,” the Ministry said in a statement. “The ministry reiterates that such scams can only succeed to the extent that members of the public have an unquenchable thirst for easy wealth. Fellow South Africans who are forever looking for opportunities for making easy money become easy prey for such scams.”

HOW DO YOU RECOGNISE A SCAM?

– The email requestor asks for your bank account information, credit card numbers, driver’s licence number, passport number, information about members of your family, and other personal information

– The email or SMS advises that you have won a prize, even though you are not aware of having entered any competition run by the prize promoters

– The email may be personally addressed to you but it has been posted using bulk mail-sending facilities to many others locally and internationally. Check the wording of letter; you may notice spelling errors and exaggerations, which should alert you to the offer being too good to be true

– Logos of the organisations mentioned in the letter (such as the prize-givers) may not seem correct or professionally drafted

– The names of persons used as senders of the emails are very common.

Picture: Pixabay

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.