Fraudsters target mayor’s contacts with money plea

2020-01-15 06:01
PHOTO: facebookA screenshot of an e-mail that was sent by someone claiming to be Msunduzi mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla.

PHOTO: facebookA screenshot of an e-mail that was sent by someone claiming to be Msunduzi mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla.

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MSUNDUZI mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla is the latest victim of a fake e-mail account sending messages to people asking them for money.

The e-mail, of which Thebolla has posted screenshots on his Facebook page, was used to try and solicit money from councillors in the municipality to assist the writer, who claimed to be Thebolla.

The mayor told The Witness on Tuesday that this is the second time his name has been brought into disrepute.

In October, the alleged fraudster, claiming to be Thebolla, sent out an e-mail to various ANC and opposition councillors as he was supposedly stuck in a meeting and needed someone to transfer money to a relative.

Thebolla said it worried him that someone had gone to great lengths and created a fake account in his name and get e-email addresses of people who were on the municipality’s contact list.

He said one of the councillors who had also received the first e-mail almost deposited R3 000.

“At the time, I didn’t take it seriously and didn’t make any follow-ups,” Thebolla said.

However, he said when he was alerted that another e-mail had been sent out, he was concerned.

“Hi, hope you are doing great. Can you please process payment at this time.

Thanks, Happy New Year,” read the second e-mail.

“It’s a serious concern because you don’t really know who is behind it. It could be criminal activity, or a political ploy.

I suspect that it is somebody who is hellbent on tarnishing my name and it’s concerning because an unsuspecting person may process these funds.

“I’m not taking it lying down. I will be consulting an IT specialist to see if we can be able to track down whoever is behind this,” said the mayor.

Thebolla said fortunately none of the people who received the fake e-mails had deposited any funds.

He said he had not reported the matter to the police yet.

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