The department said people were calling farmers and sending text messages requesting an amount of R2 000 as an upfront payment, promising to fast-track their Covid-19 relief fund applications. File photo.
The department said people were calling farmers and sending text messages requesting an amount of R2 000 as an upfront payment, promising to fast-track their Covid-19 relief fund applications. File photo.

Beware of agricultural Covid-19 relief fund scam, warns Department of Agriculture, Land reform and Rural Development

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Nov 5, 2021

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THE Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development warned farmers this week of “unscrupulous and faceless people” that were parading as government officials trying to defraud unsuspecting farmers who had applied for the agricultural Covid-19 relief fund by promising to fast-track their applications, saying it was a scam.

The department said people were calling farmers and sending text messages requesting an amount of R2 000 as an upfront payment, promising to fast-track their Covid-19 relief fund applications.

The text message read: “We see that last year you have applied for Agricultural Covid-19 fund of R50 000. We want to process it fast so can you send R2 000 so we can process it before December. Capitec Bank W. WALSH Acc no: 1332654701 Branch Code 470010.”

The department said: “Farmers and members of the public must know that they do not have to pay for any government service, especially agricultural relief funding, which is meant to mitigate the impact of Covid-19. The department has finalised the adjudication of all applications received from farmers and the process was now closed.”

Those farmers who were either successful or successful had been notified through SMSes, it said.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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