22 January 2013

South Africa: Human Settlements Warns of Scam

Pretoria — The Department of Human Settlements has issued a warning to the public about a scam that informs individuals that they have won millions of rands in an international competition.

The scam makes use of the department's logo as well as the South African government's Coat of Arms.

"In a bid to entice unsuspecting citizens to partake in the scam, the con artists have devised a letterhead that, at glance, may fool people into thinking it is an official memoranda from the Department of Human Settlements," said the department on Monday.

The con artists send a letter that purports to be promoting the Orange Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) that is currently being hosted by the country.

In the hoax, correspondence recipients are also told that they have won millions of rands as part of an international competition. Respondents are asked to provide details such as their full names, address, occupation and contact numbers in order to the claim their prize.

The department stressed that it was not running any competition related to Afcon, adding that this was an attempt to use dishonest means to obtain money or goods from innocent people.

"The department urges people to be wary of such scams as these are often used to trick people into believing they will win large sums of money, whereas the actual intention is to fleece unsuspecting people of their hard earned money," noted the department.

It further urged citizens to protect their personal information such as their identity numbers and banking details.

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