The Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) has issued a warning to members of the public regarding a number of fake social media accounts which impersonate the minister of small business development, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
The warning comes as a response to the discovery of over 25 fake accounts on social media platform Facebook that use Ndabeni-Abrahams’ name, profile and pictures to defraud South Africans, and more so small business owners.
These impostor accounts on Facebook have been used to solicit fees from individuals under the false promise of providing access to funding and business opportunities.
The DSBD says it has reported these fake accounts to Facebook.
In a statement, the DSBD emphasises that neither the minister nor the department would ever request upfront fees from the public in exchange for accessing funding or business opportunities.
The prevalence of fake social media pages being created to dupe South Africans is a growing concern, as scammers are now using credible organisations and public figures to carry out the scams.
The DSBD clarifies that Ndabeni-Abrahams only has one legitimate account on Facebook and urges anyone who has fallen victim to this scam to report the matter to the police as soon as possible.