Mafikizolo star Nhlanhla Nciza has been left shaken after a close friend was robbed by people who had apparently hacked her phone.
Nciza said since her phone was hacked last year, thugs have been asking her close friends and members of her family to send them money to help her.
"A lot of people were scammed last year. People paid as much as R12000 to these accounts. The amounts varied – from R3500 – a lot of people paid R7000. It [scamming] died down a little bit and started again last week," said Nciza.
While she was performing in Zimbabwe last week, a friend who was under the impression that she was communicating with Nciza through text messages was lured to municipal offices in Ekurhuleni on Friday by the hackers.
Last week two of Nhlanhla Nciza’s friends were robbed of thousands of rands and expensive belongings after agreeing to meet hackers posing to be the singer.
In 2017 someone hacked into her social media account, stole her cellphone number and started "borrowing" money from her contacts – and she couldn’t do anything to stop it at the time, as she was in Kenya performing.
Now the thief has struck again. Monday afternoon Nhlanhla sent out a warning to her friends on WhatsApp to ignore messages from her old number as she’s been hacked again.
Speaking to DRUM about the matter she says, “I’ve posted a notice warning everyone about my number being hacked and asking that all those who have it, block it. It saddens me that I have to post about selfish, inconsiderate thuggery again because of recent dangerous and desperate incidents.
Last week a close colleague and friend of hers was robbed of all her belongings after agreeing to meet up with the hackers, who led her to believe she’d be assisting in an event to honour Nhlanhla in Ekurhuleni.
“They set up a time and spot at the municipality offices and cleaned her out, which has left me hurt and worried because it could have been worse – all in my name,” she says.
In the same week another industry colleague of hers was scammed out of R7 000 when she believed Nhlanhla needed urgent financial assistance.
“Several other people were also targeted but luckily they decided to call me first and verify so they escaped the trap. However, my fear is there are more people who have become victims and some who will still be targeted,” she says.
The singer said she opened a case at the Honeydew police station in north-western Johannesburg last year, but crimes are still continuing in her name. She said a number of people, including legendary singer Judith Sephuma and TV producer and actress Relebogile Mabotja, were also scammed by the criminals using the musician's phone.
"They tell them that there is a performance and everything is booked, including transport and accommodation, and just ask money for something else. Obviously given my reputation, people would think this is legit and put in [their] money. A lot of people were scammed last year," she said.
Mabotja, who produces music show Afro Cafe on SABC2, confirmed she was scammed out of R7000 but could not talk further as she was locked in a meeting.