JOHANNESBURG - The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) noted with concern that beneficiaries have received a fake SMS from people claiming to be Sassa officials.

The fraudsters claim that there is a Christmas competition which beneficiaries should enter in order to win a prize. As a condition to enter such a competition, fraudsters then ask beneficiaries to send through their ID numbers, Pin codes as well as Sassa card numbers.

The fake SMS reads as follows: “Dear SASSA client, you are selected in our Christmas draw 10 out of 100 clients can win R1500 that will be in your account the 1st December 2017. Please urgently reply/sms to enter in the draw your ID no, last 4 digits of card no & your pin. Lucky Christmas draw… Sassa Head Office”

"This is a scam," Sassa says. Beneficiaries are urged to ignore and delete any such SMSes recieved. Sassa says that its officials will never ask for pin codes or Sassa card numbers.

Sassa state that they do not in any fashion, run any Christmas competitions. Beneficiaries are reminded to keep their pin codes secret and not to disclose their card and ID numbers at all.

Reacting to the news of this scam, Acting Sassa CEO, Ms Pearl Bengu said “beneficiaries of social grants need to be extra vigilant during this time of the year, as there are many fraudsters who will target the innocent and vulnerable”.