The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) on Friday, 4 June 2021, warned beneficiaries of a new scam targeting pensioners.
“Since the start of the pandemic, Sassa social grant programmes have been hit by different kinds of scammers. Sassa has been alerted of a new modus operandi used to scam and defraud social grant beneficiaries,” the agency warned.
Sassa social scams: What you need to know
It said scammers target communities by claiming to be Sassa employees. They then use skimming devices “to target and defraud beneficiaries of their social grant monies”.
As per the latest media release: “The fraudsters approach beneficiaries and convince them to ‘check’ if their social grant cards are still valid by swiping them through a device. By so doing, the scammers are then skimming the beneficiaries’ card for later cloning.”
Once the cards have been cloned, the scammers are able to load the pensioners’ information onto a new card which enables them to withdraw the grant money and clean out their account.
How to stay safe
Sassa called on victims to report any incidents to the police or directly to the agency on 0800 601 011. In addition, beneficiaries can expose scamming activities by taking to social media.
When approached by someone claiming to be a Sassa employee, pensioners and other beneficiaries should refuse to cooperate as the agency “does not send its staff to people’s homes to tamper with their cards”.
Sassa CEO Totsie Memela said scammers were active in the Eastern Cape, North West and KwaZulu-Natal.
“We do not know as yet if they also ask the beneficiaries to enter their cards PINs. However, in such cases beneficiaries are advised to please always keep their social grant payment PINs safe and to themselves,” Memela said.