Finance ministry warns of new Facebook scam

The Ministry of Finance has warned the public about scams which purport to be communication from the ministry.

In the latest of these scams, a person purporting to be the deputy minister of finance asks people on Facebook for money in return for funding their projects or business plans.

This person also asks for people’s full names, ID numbers, as well as home addresses, the ministry said.

“Neither the ministry nor National Treasury assists individuals or businesses with the funding of their projects or business plans,” it 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 would you recognise a scam:

  • The e-mail requestor asks for bank account information, credit card numbers, driver’s licence number, passport number, information about members of your family, and other personal information;
  • The e-mail 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 e-mail 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 e-mails are common.

Read: New ‘money bomb’ scam targets South Africans at ATMs

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Finance ministry warns of new Facebook scam