December 4, 2021 In Alert, Beware

SCAM ALERT: Beware of Brics project-funding con

Scammers are impersonating Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi as part of a “special projects funding” con.

Nxesi has warned the public to beware of communication that purports to be from the ministry, which calls for citizens to participate on social media regarding supposed projects and funding.

In a statement on Wednesday, the department said: “Scammers are inviting citizens and corporates of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa [Brics] member states who are interested and dedicated to development in their respective communities and organisations to apply for funding.”

But neither the ministry nor the Department of Employment and Labour has issued any such invitation to assist individuals or businesses with funding.

NOW READ: Covid benefit fraud: Employers tried to pocket R228 million, says Nxesi

The scammers claim the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and Brics have used funding in the form of budgetary support provided to Brics, totalling €58 billion between 2018 and 2022.

“Individuals are liable to get up to the amount of R20 million, and cooperate organisations and NGOs could get up to the sum of R45 million,” the advert read.

The ministry and the department have pointed out that it has not invited citizens or corporates to participate in any so-called Sadc or Brics funding project.

This appears to be a follow-up to another old Brics-related scam.

In 2018, fraudsters contacted people using Minister of Public Works Patricia De Lille’s name and promised access to grant funds worth millions from the Brics bank.

In that scam, con artists set up a fake social media profile for De Lille to run their ploy.

In July, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande warned of a fake Facebook page that impersonated him.

ALSO READ: Four fake Nzimande Facebook profiles

Compiled by Narissa Subramoney