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 claiming to be the Deputy Minister of Finance has been asking 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. Neither the Ministry nor National Treasury assists individuals or businesses with the funding of their projects or business plans,” said the Ministry in a statement on Tuesday.
In cautioning the public, the Ministry compiled a checklist to assist the public in determining 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.
The Ministry reiterated 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,” said the department.