According to an article in Rapport newspaper, SA cardiologist Wouter Basson, the former head of the apartheid government’s chemical and biological warfare project, who has been charged for his conduct as a doctor when he was heading the chemical and biological warfare during the apartheid era, has requested his legal representative to probe a fake Twitter account that was opened under his name.
The article states that Basson has also laid a charge at the Brooklyn police station in Pretoria over a false Facebook account that was also opened under his name.
The false Twitter account (@Delta_G) has been de-activated.
What can you do if there’s a false Twitter or Facebook account under your name?
Lauren Potgieter, a social media manager at Quirk, says if there is a false account in your name, you should report it and hopefully get it suspended if you can prove that this person (account) is impersonating you. You cannot claim someone is impersonating you if they only have the same name as you. You will have to provide proof that someone is using your name. For Twitter, complete the claim and report here and read Twitter's impersonation policy here.
For Facebook, you can report and block a person that is impersonation you via their Help Center.
5 tips on how to protect yourself
Potgieter offers the following tips:
1. Never give out your password or personal information. Create complex passwords when signing up.
2. Always read the terms and conditions carefully before signing up to a social media network.
3. Do not click on links that use shock tactics, ie "see what this girl did", etc, as most of the time these are not legitimate.
4. Make sure your privacy settings are set on high with regards to Facebook. This can’t be done on Twitter (but you can set your tweets to "protected").
5. Install anti-virus software on your computer if you use social media sites.