Beware SASSA scams

by | Jul 13, 2021 | Personal Finance

On Sunday 25 July 2021, President Ramaphosa reinstated the SASSA R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, saying it will end in March 2022. He said the decision to bring back the grant was made possible by the slight improvement that the country has seen in revenue collection.

“We are expanding the number of people who are eligible for the grant by allowing unemployed caregivers who currently receive a child support grant to apply. This will build on the strength of our existing social protection system, which is one of the greatest achievements of our democracy”

Now while many people welcomed the reintroduction of the grant, it seems none were happier than the scammers – for they were in action the very next day. SASSA scams are nothing new, but the swiftness with which these came caught many by surprise. By Monday 26 July, literally a day after the President’s announcement – there were 2 major scams running.

One post encouraged people to apply for the SASSA grant by using a WhatsApp number, email address and telephone telephone which was not linked to SASSA at all. The aim of this is to get people’s personal information and then access their bank accounts and empty it.

The other scam doing the rounds told people that SASSA was handing out food parcels and needed them to supply their personal information to have access to it. Sadly, the level of financial literacy amongst the most vulnerable in  our society is nowhere near what it should be – and people are desperate, and therefore fall for these type of scams

A few weeks ago the fake messages going around on social media led to thousands of unemployed people gathering at SASSA offices in Ladysmith and Dundee in KwaZulu-Natal for R750 food vouchers. It got to the point where SASSA had to call in the police to calm down the situation.

SASSA put out a statement saying:  “These reports are not true and are misleading the public. We urge the public to exercise caution and not to be duped by hoax messages. We appeal to the public to be vigilant. If people are uncertain about information purporting to be from Sassa, they must contact us immediately to verify the veracity of such information.”

It is vitally important that you never disclose your personal information to anyone, or on any platform that you do not trust. Rather be safe than sorry and deal directly with SASSA

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