NSFAS scam alert: List of fake mobile apps, FB page targeting applicants and students
NSFAS has warned students applying for 2024 funding to steer clear of bogus mobile apps asking them for their personal information.
NSFAS has issued a warning to students and applicants about several new scams to be on the lookout for. Photo: Facebook
Fraudsters have embarked on their annual scamming spree of targeting prospective students applying for funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
Since the start of the application period for the 2024 academic year on 21 November, NSFAS has provisionally approved 76,000 online applications, according to the bursary scheme’s spokesperson Slumezi Skosana.
Scam alert: Fake NSFAS apps
In a recent briefing, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced the roll-out of a NSFAS mobile app as one of the new features aimed at improving the application process for bursaries.
The student app, which will include a biometric capability, will initially be available on the iPhone operating system (IOs), Android, and in due course, include Huawei devices.
However, several fake NSFAS mobile apps have since surfaced luring applicants to provide their personal details under false pretenses.
NSFAS has issued a list of bogus apps it has become aware of on its official X platform, stressing that the student bursary has not yet launched its own official mobile app. Take a look:
Bogus Facebook page
Amid the delays in appeals, accommodation and funding issues which students have had to deal with, a fake NSFAS Facebook page has surfaced on social media.
“NSFAS ASSISTANT & ENQUIRIES” has been interacting with students pretending to be the official NSFAS Facebook page designed to assist students in withdrawing money from their accounts.
To scam students, the page would ask for their NSFAS bank card login details.
This page is not affiliated with the bursary scheme and students are urged to never share their banking information or MyNSFAS portal login details.
According to TransUnion, fraudsters can easily open store accounts and agree to significant debt in one’s name once they are in possession of a person’s ID number.
Never pay for ‘service’ to ‘assist’ with applications
The bursary scheme has also been alerted to a man the Cape Town area who has allegedly been charging applicants between R4 000 and R5 000 to complete and submit their applications.
- The bursary scheme will never request that applicants pay a fee to submit an application or receive information pertaining to their application.
- Applicants should never share information with members of the public who claim to offer such services.
- Applicants should not make payments to individuals claiming to assist them with their applications.