The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) this week warned of a Covid-19 relief fund grant scam doing the rounds on social media.
Latest Sassa scam
The latest Sassa scam calls on members to “apply for the Government Phase 4 Covid-19 relief fund grand”. The post shared on Facebook calls on citizens to “hurry up, it only takes a few seconds to apply”.
The link included in the post leads to a dead website with a 404 Invalid error.
The agency said on social media the information being shared online is false as the special Covid-19 SRD grant ended in April 2021.
SASSA warns the public against the below fake poster doing the rounds on social media platforms. The information is false and does NOT come from SASSA. The special COVID-19 SRD grant has ended in April 2021. #SASSACARES @The_DSD @nda_rsa @GovernmentZA @GCISMedia pic.twitter.com/Ffe5xzNaRO
— SASSA (@OfficialSASSA) June 29, 2021
Food voucher scam
A recent food voucher scam was also brought to light. People were informed they could obtain a letter from a social worker to collect a food voucher from a Sassa office.
These “vouchers” could then be redeemed at Spar, Shoprite, Boxer and Pick ‘n Pay. The agency has since confirmed the information is “false and does NOT come from Sassa”.
Earlier this month, the agency also warned pensioners of a new modus operandi used to scam and defraud social grant beneficiaries.
Pensioner grant scam
Criminals who pretend to be Sassa employees use skimming devices “to target and defraud beneficiaries of their social grant monies”.
The agency explains: “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.”
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 urged pensioners to “always keep their social grant payment PINs safe” and said the scammers were active in the Eastern Cape, North West and KwaZulu-Natal.
Any incidents of fraud should be reported to the police, or directly to Sassa on 0800 601 011.