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Post office probe into Sassa card scam

SA Post Office general manager for security and investigations, Vossie Vos said the allegations are being investigated. He also shared tips for beneficiaries on how to protect their cards.

A SECOND pensioner, Cecil Werth, has complained about the problems he encountered after falling victim to a SASSA card scam.

The Highway Mail wrote a story last week, Scammed pensioner wants answers, about a Pinetown resident, Andy Gobey, who was among many grant recipients who did not receive his grant, and when he enquired, was told a new card was issued on his behalf.

Werth, a Malvern resident, said his problem goes back to February. “I submitted an affidavit to Pinetown Post Office. After no response I contacted the Ombudsman on 12 March.”

He said he received a reference number and was informed he was one of hundreds of complainants and must be patient.

“The letter came from grant enquiries. I have been back to the post office where their suggestion was I complete another affidavit as they had hundreds of complaints. What can we do now, I was issued three cards that did not work,” said the frustrated Werth.

Post Bank responded saying the Post Office has introduced measures to streamline investigations of possible card fraud incidents affecting SASSA grants beneficiaries.

ALSO READ: Scammed Pinetown pensioner wants answers

SA Post Office general manager for security and investigations, Vossie Vos, said the SA Post Office and the South Africa Social Security Agency treat all allegations of card fraud incidents affecting SASSA beneficiaries using the Postbank-SASSA card as extremely important and every case is handled as ‘urgent’.

“The SA Post Office has streamlined its procedures for investigating allegations of possible card fraud from Sassa accounts to minimise the inconvenience to beneficiaries and to effect refunds as quickly as possible,” Vos said.

He said allegations of card fraud incidents affecting SASSA beneficiaries using the Postbank-SASSA card are extremely low by industry standards.

“During the March 2019 payments period (from 1 to 28 March 2019), 14, 4 million transactions were completed successfully by beneficiaries using the Postbank-SASSA cards.

“Requests to investigate possible fraud were received for less than 0, 05 per cent of these transactions. Notwithstanding the low incident levels, because we understand the immediate impact on the livelihoods of the beneficiaries, all such cases are investigated with urgency by a dedicated team to ensure the affected beneficiaries are reimbursed within less than 15 calendar days.

“However, the bulk of the reported cases thus far have been resolved within three days of reporting by our dedicated team of investigators,” said Vos.

He added that the pin protects your account and to keep it safe. Beneficiaries should choose a pin they can remember, but not an obvious one that anyone can guess, like the year you were born.

“Don’t write the PIN down. Don’t tell anyone know your SASSA PIN, even if you trust them. The Post Office tellers are trained to help you perform your SASSA withdrawal safely.

“It is a better option to always withdraw your social grant at the Post Office if you feel uncomfortable using other payment options The tap-and-go facility on the SASSA card is not activated to further improve its security,” said Vos.

If a person loses a card or has any queries or challenges with their card or SASSA payment, they can contact the SASSA call centre number on 0800 60 10 11 or the Postbank call centre number on 0800 53 54 55.


The procedure to be followed by a beneficiary when a fraud incident is suspected:
SASSA grant recipients who suspect fraud on their accounts should immediately report the incident to their nearest post office (bring an ID).
The Post Office officials will assist the beneficiary to complete an affidavit and handle all the processes of ensuring the matter is investigated.
The Post Office officials will notify you when the investigation has been resolved. (Where the beneficiary is elderly or handicapped, the incident can also be reported by his or her next of kin or proxy).


Tips for beneficiaries:
-Always keep your card safe.
-Don’t let your card out of sight even when making payments or merchant withdrawals
-Don’t allow strangers to help you when you withdraw money at an ATM
-Don’t allow anyone to swipe your card through any strange devices, except a point of sale device when making merchant payments or withdrawals.



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