Finance Department warns of scams

Johannesburg - Fake letters and e-mails appearing to be from government are being used to con South Africans, the department of finance said on Saturday.

Spokesman for the department, Jabulani Sikhakhane said the documents contained logos of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC).

There had been around 419 of these scams thus far.

“Minister of Finance (Pravin Gordhan) has condemned the use of his name and that of the FIC in 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,” said Sikhakhane.

He said people should know that the FIC never required payment for its services and did not pay out funds.

“South Africans who are forever looking for opportunities for making easy money become easy prey for scams. There is no easy walk to wealth,” said Sikhakhane.

The fake e-mail documents usually requested that a person provide their bank account information, credit card numbers, driver's licence number, passport number, information about members and other personal information.

Others attract their victims by saying they had won a prize in a competition they never entered for.

These e-mails may also be personally addressed to the e-mail account user.

The bogus documents can be spotted through spelling errors, inaccurate logos and the prizes mentioned were usually exaggerated, said Sikhakhane. - Sapa