Isithembisoactress Winnie Ntshaba was hit by merciless tsotsis when they cloned her SIM card and swindled her friends a total amount of R8 000.

Winnie (44), who shot to fame through her role as Khethiwe on SABC1’s Generations, opened a case of fraud at the Honeydew Police Station on Monday, after she was notified by friends who had received strange WhatsApp messages from her account, saying she was jailed for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Speaking to the SunTeam, Winnie said she had taken the necessary steps with Vodacom and was adamant the suspects would be nabbed.

“They messaged two of my friends from Durban and Joburg, who sent money because they believed I was in trouble. I don’t want to say much because police are investigating the matter,” she said.

Vodacom spokesperson Bryron Kennedy said they were aware of the matter and it’s the only one reported.

“While we continuously enhance measures to protect customers from fraudulent activity, we’re restricted in terms of what we can do from a porting perspective until such time the new Icasa regulations come into effect.

“All WhatsApp users can protect themselves from being scammed by activating the two-step authentication facility offered by WhatsApp.

“To do this, go into WhatsApp, select Settings, then select Account and then Two-Step verification.

“You’ll then be asked to enter and then confirm a six-number password. If someone tries to set up a new WhatsApp account on a different phone it’ll ask them to enter the password, thus preventing criminal activity.

“If you get a WhatsApp message from a friend asking for money out of the blue, be aware that it could be a scam. So, ensure the person you send money to is really your contact and not a criminal,” he said.

In her police statement seen by the SunTeam, Winnie said she initially couldn’t make calls or send messages from her phone because the network was out of service, prompting her to use a different phone, and that’s when she discovered thugs were at work.

“The suspect contacted a few of the complainant’s friends asking for money.The total money paid is R8 000. The complainant went to Vodacom and was told someone called to make a SIM swap on the number, and that is why the phone was deactivated,” reads the statement, in part.

Police spokesman Kay Makhubele had not responded at the time of going to print.