The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has issued a warning to students that false information is being circulated that should not be engaged with.
“FAKE NEWS ALERT. Please note that this message is doing the rounds on social media and it is fake. Please verify all information received on our official platforms such as the UJ website, Ulink and all official UJ social media pages,” the university writes.
UJ also provides a screenshot of the message which seems to be doing the rounds on WhatsApp. What’s interesting is that an email address is supplied with the correct website attached as uj.ac.za is the legitimate website for the school.
We’ve seen scams and fake news like this multiple times before with other educational institutes such as NSFAS having to continually warn students about threats.
Even though the end of the email address seems to be correct the front part of it, which is obscured by the large “FAKE” text in the screenshot, may be incorrect leading to emails being bounced when someone tries to use it.
If this is some kind of scam to extort money from victims this kind of problem by design would cause engagement when the email fails and students try to reach out directly.
Alternatively this could simply be a spread of misinformation to confuse and bother people instead of an attempt to simply acquire money.
Regardless of the ultimate aim here it’s clear that anyone who receives this message from strangers should simply ignore it. Recipients who see the message from trusted sources like friends or family should inform them that this is false and to stop spreading it.
As 2021 ends and a new academic year is on the horizon we will likely see an increase in these kinds of problems as new and returning students seek funding for their studies.