SIMON MUNTEMBA writes
A scam in which fraudsters created a fake Facebook accounts in Information Minister Dora Siliya’s names to defraud the public has been unearthed.
Unscrupulous people have, through fake “Ms Siliya’s” Facebook account, been asking unsuspecting people to send money before applying for some government empowerment funds meant to benefit the public.
This came to light when the account bearer solicited for some funds from Webby Chisanga of Magoye, Southern province.
According to Mr Chisanga, aged 58 years who is a business man, while chatting on the said account, he was asked to send K1, 000 so that he would be processed with a K30, 000 empowerment funds.
Mr Chisanga said he was sent a form headed ‘Zambia Trust Empowerment in partnership with Chanda Foundation’ to fill in his details and asked to send K1, 000 so that he could be considered for empowerment.
Ms Siliya, who confirmed that there were so many fake Facebook pages in her name has categorically disassociated herself from the said account saying she does not own it.
She has called on the general public not to patronise the pages because the fraudsters were using them to mislead them with false information with the intention of duping them.
Ms Siliya also called on the Minister of Justice Given Lubinda to strengthen internet regulations because if left unchecked, unsuspecting people will continue being defrauded.
Meanwhile, the Zambia police has warned the public against carrying out financial transactions over social media or the internet without proper consultation.
Deputy police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga implored members of the public to always clarify with the appropriate agencies of government at all levels before engaging in any dealings with people purportedly working for them.
Speaking to the Sun in a phone interview, Mr Hamoonga urged the public to be alert and to report any suspicious behaviour to the police.
Despite our persistent warnings about fraudsters on Facebook, he said, we are shocked to hear that people are still being deceived by fake Facebook accounts claiming to be or represent Ms Siliya or indeed any government official.
He said people should be wary of an increase in fraudsters impersonating prominent figures or institutions on social media.
ZICTA has been identifying fake Facebook accounts purporting to belong to high profile members of society including President Edgar Lungu.
The fake accounts have on numerous occasions requested for monetary favours from unsuspecting internet users.
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