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PM warns public about fake Facebook accounts

Ntsebeng Motsoeli

PRIME Minister Moeketsi Majoro has warned the public against entertaining impersonators who have created fake accounts in his name on microblogging site, Facebook, with the aim of defrauding unsuspecting citizens.

Dr Majoro said he had been alerted to the existence of four fake accounts on Facebook with one already duping people into paying the administrators of the bogus accounts monies to facilitate funding for them from the European Development Fund.

The premier issued the warning on his own official Facebook account.

Efforts to get a follow-up interview with him failed yesterday as he did not respond to questions sent to him.

The con artists appear to be taking advantage of the premier’s interactive social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. And on Friday, Dr Majoro warned the public not to entertain any of the fake accounts that use his pictures on their profiles.

“All these Facebook pages are fake,” Dr Majoro posted on his Facebook timeline.

“One of them is pledging funding for some people yet it first scams people of their monies. These fraudsters have created fake Facebook and email accounts… They prey on people through these fake accounts.

“Note that every Facebook account that bares my picture (profile) is fake. Do not become a victim. There is no way that the European Development Fund can use a Gmail account.

“The Facebook pages you see below are all fake. In fact, any Facebook page that has my picture as profile is FAKE!! The fake accounts are used to lure unsuspecting people to financial scams orchestrated by these crooks, who also typically clone email addresses to shepherd victims in private extortion discussions.”

Lesotho does not have any legislation to regulate cyber space crimes. However, police spokesperson, Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli, said that cybercrimes were currently being investigated under the legal frameworks for other crimes.

“Cyber space crimes are still investigated under legal frameworks for other crimes like theft, fraud and impersonation especially of police officers or government officials,” Supt Mopeli said.

He nonetheless said he was unsure how the matter involving the prime minister would be handled.  The premier or another affected person would need to report the case and make a statement, he said.

“I do not know how this case will be handled but it is a potential criminal case if any persons have been defrauded. At the end of the day, there will have to be a statement made to the police by a complainant,” Supt Mopeli said.

 

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