Picture: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) on Monday warned recipients of State grants to be aware of fraudsters pretending to be Sassa officials who trick beneficiaries into changing their cards and getting new cards from there.

In a statement Sassa said that all new applicants and reissues for social grants will receive the new Sassa card from April 2018. Reissues are those beneficiaries who have lost their cards, had them stolen or accidentally damaged. The new Sassa card will be issued at Sassa offices or identified service points or at the Post office to beneficiaries who access their grants using electronic or cash payment methods.

"Notice to beneficiaries using the old card must not panic, the card will continue working until 31 December 2018," the statement added. Sassa will also communicate with them directly when it is time to change it.

"Sassa has received information that there are fraudsters pretending to be Sassa officials. These fraudsters allegedly tricking beneficiaries that they must change their cards and get the new cards from them. Sassa would like to convey to beneficiaries not give them their secret information (i.e. pin-codes of their social grants payment cards) because the changing of cards from old to new will take place in offices. Fraudsters used their information to effect illegal deduction from their social grant."

The statement added that the agency will not request the personal information of the beneficiary over the phone. Official communication will be through proper channels which amongst others involve post letters and invites to the nearest office.

African News Agency/ANA