Fraudsters use social media to target SASSA beneficiaries

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Fraudsters are using Facebook to sell SASSA cards.
Fraudsters are using Facebook to sell SASSA cards.

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has warned the public to be aware of fraudsters selling payment cards on social media.

In a statement, SASSA says fraudsters are advertising the sale of the new modernised payment cards on Facebook.

Last year, SASSA introduced the cards in partnership with the South African Post Office (SAPO). The cards are in line with efforts to take over the grants payments function from Cash Paymaster Services.

According to Abraham Mahlangu, acting CEO, some SASSA cards were stolen and are now being sold for different amounts of money on the social media network.

"These stolen cards were immediately deactivated and are worthless, so the public is warned not to be tempted to try to buy them as they are useless. No grants can be drawn from the stolen cards and anyone buying them stands to lose out, and if caught, [they] may be charged with possession of stolen property," he warns.

Mahlangu reiterates that SASSA services are free and not for sale.

The acting CEO also advised beneficiaries to refrain from sending their ID numbers, PINs and SASSA card numbers to strangers, as these are part of scams to defraud them.

"Selling of SASSA cards is illegal and criminal. Beneficiaries are urged to report such incidents to the police or alert SASSA. SASSA officials will never ask for money to issue a SASSA card. Beneficiaries are reminded to keep their PINs secret and not to disclose their card and ID numbers at all.

"Beneficiaries of social grants need to be extra vigilant as there are many fraudsters who will target the innocent and vulnerable. Beneficiaries should call SASSA on 0800601011 whenever they are offered any service relating to social grants for money, no matter how little the charge is. SASSA is not involved in any other business except the payment of social grants," Mahlangu explains.

SAPO is working with the police to get to the bottom of the matter and following leads that should result in the arrest of the mastermind behind this scam, concludes the statement.

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