NSFAS spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo. Picture: supplied

Pretoria - The National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has warned students applying for funding, to be vigilant as fraudsters are impersonating the scheme’s officials asking them to pay a fee when applying. 

The scheme’s spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo said they were recently made aware of a number (0671336269) calling and requesting students to pay R300 in order to be funded.  

The Pretoria News called the number several times but it went unanswered.

 Mamabolo said a whistleblower who alerted them did not specify which institutions have been hit by the scam. 

He reminded students that applications were free of charge. 

“Fraudsters are now targeting students by asking them to pay when submitting their NSFAS applications for 2020. 

“We would like to send a strong warning to those trying to defraud students. 

"We would like to extend apologies to those affected, and in the same breath warn all students to be vigilant and aware of such scams.

 Applications are free of charge,” he said. 

Asked on action taken against perpetrators, Mamabolo said they have set up an independent fraud hotline called Vuvuzela, through which whistleblowers can report cases. 

“Whistleblowers can report abuse, fraud, wastage and other cases of misconduct to the scheme with comfort and confidence. 

"We appeal to students, applicants, employees and community members to report any suspicious activity promptly on fraud hotline. 

"All calls are kept strictly confidential and callers may remain anonymous,” he said.  

To report any fraud, please call the Toll free number 0860 247 653, SMS “Call-back” to 30916, or email [email protected] 

For more details on how you can report, please visit www.thehotine.co.za.

Pretoria News