Impersonating Namibia’s youth ministry is a popular scam move

Image: Namibia Fact Check

The Namibian Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service appears to have recently become a popular target for scam artists to impersonate

The Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service has so far been used as a front in three scams that have circulated in Namibian social media spaces between December 2023 and February 2024.

These scams are notably the N$5000 Namibia Youth Credit Scheme, the Youth Development Grant scam (image below) and the most recent Frans Dimbare Youth Skills Training Centre scam.

The scams being perpetrated are all phishing scams. Basically, a phishing scam is a scam in which the scammers pose as a reputable person or organisation in order to defraud others.

The aim of these scams is to obtain as much personal information about their victims as possible, ranging from their contact details, including email addresses. However, the scammers have moved up a few notches by calling and posing as youth ministry officials and requesting banking details from their victims.

Scam artists use real and readily available information on the ministry’s official website, from projects the ministry is rolling out, as well as current events to manipulate victims.

This leads to more victims sharing personal information that they would have otherwise not shared or been suspicious of sharing because it appears as “real events from a legitimate institution”.

A great case study is the Frans Dimbare Youth Skills Training Centre project. The scammers are using factual information about a current event to get into contact with individuals to fraudulently obtain their banking details and other information.

Ministerial response

On 13 February 2024 the youth ministry released a press release on its official website and social media pages acknowledging that its name was being used to target youth across Namibia for scamming purposes. 

The ministry, further, distanced itself from the scam activities. It also cautioned Namibian youth to not share their personal information with anyone who claims to be from the ministry, and stating that the ministry does not require any banking details.

Namibia Fact Check has published numerous scam alerts involving phishing scams over the last year or so. The alerts caution Namibian youth against falling victim to scams requiring the sharing of personal information on websites that are not secure, or sharing personal information with strangers telephonically