Johannesburg – 20 December 2017, the Minister of Home Affairs, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo has approached the Hawks to investigate what appears to be a criminal syndicate operating in the social networks. 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. The Minister would like to warn members of the public to be vigilant against such cyber-criminal activity.
“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” she said.
“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.
The Minister emphasised that social media networks are critical platforms for information flow and exchange around the globe. These are also dangerous hunting grounds for cyber criminals who are sparing no effort in using easy access of these networks for their nefarious deeds.
She concluded by urging members of the public who want to access online services offered by the Department of Home Affairs to always verify their sources and platforms using the security mechanisms provided by the department.
The Minister also wished all South Africans a happy, safe and secure festive season. “We would like to wish every South African a happy, safe and secure festive season but also warn them strongly to be alert against criminals who want to use these cyber networks to access their accounts illegally” she said.
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Issued by Ministry of Home Affairs