The Basic Education Department (DBE) has distanced itself from a fake social media page purporting to offer "genuine" matric certificates at a cost of R1 500.
"It is important that the department alert members of the public to this as it threatens the integrity of the NSC examination process as well as bringing into question the security and authenticity of the matric certificate," said department Head of Assessments Dr Rufus Poliah.
The department reiterated that it is aware of members of the public who are fraudulently producing and offering to sell fake matric certificates and reminded the public that UMALUSI is the only examinations quality assurance body.
"Matric certificates carry security features. Members of the public engaging in this practice will face the might of the law as this amounts to fraud," said the department.
The selling of these fake certificates comes as the curtain closes on the 2019 academic calendar as schools break for the holidays with the first day of the 2020 academic calendar set for 15 January 2020.
"Of particular concern is the exploitation of desperate and often destitute individuals seeking to improve their lives.
"We urge all our learners to be safe and refrain from getting involved in dangerous activities as we observed in the past," said the department.
Meanwhile, marking of NSC scripts continues at marking centres in provinces across the country and results will be made available to candidates at their examination centres, the department's website as well as accredited media houses.
"The DBE once again urges all persons to be vigilant in this time and to be cognisant of the fact that UMALUSI is the only legal entity through which the DBE issues matric certificates," said the department.