Scam alert: Don't respond to requests for money from Treasury

(File, iStock)
(File, iStock)

Cape Town – Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba warned South Africans about a scam in which his name and that of other senior officials are used. 

People should not react to letters or emails asking them to deposit money into specified accounts. These letters or emails use the logos of National Treasury and other state institutions and in addition to asking for money, request personal details of the recipients. 

“The Minister of Finance condemns the use of his name in what is clearly an attempt to con South Africans to part with their hard-earned money. He urges South Africans to report all suspected scams at the nearest police station,” the statement read. 

READ: Be alert for these 9 online scams 

Gigaba emphasised that the Ministry of Finance neither requires payments from anyone for its services, nor does it pay out funds to anyone. 

“Origins of these scam notices and how individuals are targeted are continuously being evolved by criminals, and is an international phenomenon. 

“Should members of the public receive a communication purporting to be from the Ministry of Finance (or any other government department) that refers to payments to be made or to be received, it is clearly a scam and they should not respond.” 

How to recognise a scam

In the statement, Gigaba also sets out the characteristics of a scam, which include instances where:  

- The email requestor asks for bank account information, credit card numbers, and driver’s licence number, passport number, information about members of your family, and other personal information.
 
- The email advises that you have won a prize – even though you are not aware of having entered any competition run by the prize promoters. It also advises that your investments are at risk and that you may lose money if you do not respond with your details. 

- The email may be personally addressed to you, but it has been posted using bulk mail sending facilities to many others locally and internationally. 

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

- The senders of such emails use common names. 

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