A new WhatsApp scam is making the rounds on the social networking platform: it offers “bonafide citizens” a South African Social Security Agency grant application for R700.
The apparent phishing scam is currently being spread across the instant messaging app and reads: “The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) R700 Grant Application Form 2022/2023 is Out. The online registration exercise, which is the quickest to apply for, is now out for all bonafide citizens only who need helping hands in their various activities.
“All South Africans under the age of 18-65 years can apply
“Over 55 000 citizens received a R350 fund grant in 2020/2021due to covid.
“In 2023 Over 675 000 citizens will receive R700 payments.
“The Payments have just begun for all applicants. Register To be Part of the Beneficiaries.
“Check Eligibility and Apply here.
Of course, the South African government has not made any such statement public. Despite this, unsuspecting users who fall victim to the scam face being hacked with risks to their personal and financial information.
Users are warned to not click or open any accompanying links, as this could be used to attain or access the personal information of unsuspecting victims, as well as the same method being used to infect users’ devices with malware or other malicious data.
The method is not the first of hackers’ attempts to con victims using the social grant agency as a front.
Meanwhile, Sassa has promised to inform beneficiaries of any changes in grant payments through all available channels and stakeholder engagements.
In July last year, Sassa warned its social grant beneficiaries that scammers claiming to be working for Sassa advised clients to open an account with a certain bank by instilling fear that the gold Sassa card will not have money by the end of June 2022.
“Sassa would like to assure all social grant beneficiaries that the Sassa card will continue to work until Sassa officially communicates otherwise,” Sassa spokesperson Senzeni Ngubeni said previously.
“Beneficiaries can use their Sassa gold card to withdraw their grant in retail outlets such as Pick & Pay, Checkers, Shoprite, Boxer or USave and all bank ATMs in South Africa.”
Beneficiaries and other users suspicious of Sassa scams are urged to report suspected fraudsters to the nearest police station.
More information can be found at the Sassa Customer help desk on its toll-free number: 0800 60 10 11.