Warning on impersonators targeting small business owners

The Ministry of Small Business Development has warned members of the public not to fall prey to fake social media accounts, which purport to belong to the Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Dipuo Peters. The Ministry has discovered several fake Facebook and LinkedIn accounts that purport to belong to the Deputy Minister. 'This appears to be a well-coordinated plan by con artists to target small business owners through impersonating the leadership of the Department of Small Business Development. A similar scam targeting Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams was discovered a few weeks ago,' the Ministry said on Tuesday. The Ministry reiterated that neither the Minister, Deputy Minister nor any official of the department will ever request 'upfront fees' from members of the public in exchange for accessing funding or business opportunities. 'These fake accounts are created by fraudsters whose sole intention is to defraud innocent citizens and gullible individuals. They are using the name and position of the Deputy Minister to solicit money from poor and struggling ordinary South Africans in exchange for non-existent funding or favours. 'The Ministry strongly condemns the fraudulent use of the Deputy Minister's identity and pictures to create these fake accounts whose purpose is to scam innocent citizens, especially small business owners. 'Members of the public are urged to be vigilant and not allow themselves to fall prey to these criminals,' the Ministry said. Small business owners are reminded that no business funding or deal can be facilitated or concluded by the department, its leaders or officials on social media. In addition, the Minister and Deputy Minister never get involved in disbursing funds, as these are administrative processes that are handled by relevant officials within the department. Anyone who has already fallen victim to these fraudsters are urged to report the matter to the police as soon as possible. The following are the only legitimate and genuine social media accounts of the Deputy Minister: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dipuopeters?igsh=MTVjazc2YjFweDh4bA== https://www.instagram.com/dipuopeters5549?igsh=MTdvYW1raXR1MGNyeA== https://www.instagram.com/dipuo1234?igsh=aWFvbTBxeHRvbXYw Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Tseletjie?mibextid=LQQJ4d https://www.facebook.com/dipuo.peters.71?mibextid=LQQJ4d https://www.facebook.com/dipuo.peters.568?mibextid=LQQJ4d X @dipuopeters https://x.com/dipuopeters?s=21 Tiktok dipstick71 : https://www.tiktok.com/@dipstick71?_t=8jR6dydoY9mand_r=1 Source: South African Government News Agency