5 Most Common SASSA SRD Scams to Avoid in South Africa

It’s been recently reported that SASSA has paid over R141 million in grants to deceased beneficiaries in the past 3 years.

In South Africa, SASSA (South African Social Security Agency) beneficiaries are targeted by various scams, exploiting the dependency on social grants by fraudsters.

Today, we want to list the most common SASSA SRD (Social Relief of Distress) scams to watch out for, to protect your grant benefits:

  1. Identity Number Misappropriation: We received hundreds of queries among new SASSA SRD R350 grant applicants, particularly those who turned 18 in 2023 whereby they find their identity numbers are found to be pre-registered in the system, and have been getting the grant benefits.
  2. Fake SMSes and Emails: Scammers send fraudulent messages or emails posing as SASSA by including a shortened link you cannot easily identify it’s from SASSA to ask for personal or banking details under the guise of needing to update records for grant payouts.
  3. SASSA Phone Calls: Nowadays, anyone can have a landline number and these individuals claiming to be from SASSA will call you, the beneficiary, to phish for personal information, including addresses and ID numbers, under various pretexts, such as confirming or updating grant details.
  4. Fake Websites: Scammers create websites that mimic the official SASSA site, tricking people into entering personal details. Always ensure to use the official URL, https://sassa.gov.za to avoid landing on fake sites.
  5. Illegal SASSA Loans: Offers of loans from entities claiming to be associated with SASSA or against social grants are scams. SASSA does not offer financial services or loans.

To protect yourself, never share personal details unless you’re sure of the requester’s identity and always verify any suspicious offers or requests through official SASSA channels. If you encounter scams, they can be reported to the SASSA fraud department for investigation.

Additionally, common scams targeting the general public and SASSA beneficiaries include fake SMS and emails prompting for personal information updates, bogus officials or unofficial card swaps promising assistance with grant applications or new cards, and deceptive loan offers using SASSA grants as collateral.

There are also scams involving illegal deductions from grants, ATM and PayPoint fraud, phishing calls from fake SASSA officials, and fake job offers requiring payment for application or training fees.

To report SASSA fraud or scams, contact SASSA directly via their toll-free number or email, and never hesitate to share your experiences to help prevent others from falling victim to similar scams

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