Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande has distanced himself from a Facebook page operating using his identity and soliciting money from people.
The page where the name and surname of the 63-year-old minister is used, urges people to send money to support a “worthy course of student funding”.
“It is unfortunate that we have individuals who go to the extent of masquerading as a Minister to defraud members of the public, using the genuine plight of students,” said Nzimande.
Nzimande called on the social media platform, Facebook, to investigate the page that has been using his name.
Adding that all other social media pages bearing his name are fake.
“The only social media pages that might be regarded as authentic are those of the Department of Higher Education and Training and the Department of Science and Innovation,” said Nzimande.
The minister said members of the public must report to the police if they suspect or might have already been scammed by this fraudster.
“I am aware of the essential role played by social media for effective and responsive communication, and I am committed to continue to engage with the public through genuine and credible social media platforms,” said Nzimande.
According to ZeroFOX – a platform that identifies and remediates targeted phishing attacks – credential compromise and brand hijacking have increased the opportunity for hackers looking to target high-profile accounts. This has especially been the case since the Covid-19 global outbreak at end 2019.
ZeroFOX said threat activity has greatly increased in April 2020, and then again in June 2020, likely linked to new work habits and a shift to fully digital communications.