Another fake SMS targets social grant beneficiaries

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The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has expressed concern at the increasing
number of fake SMSes being circulated to beneficiaries.

In a recent incident, the Agency received reports that beneficiaries received an SMS instructing them to re-
register their social grants because cash pay-points would be fully phased-out by August 2018.

The Fake SMS reads as follows: “All Sassa recipients.please you have to re-register yourself for Sassa payments. From the 1st of June, there will be no pay-points anymore. Each1 has to apply by post office or a bank of your choice. So please collect application forms by office from the 1st of June to take to bank or post office
your choice. If you do not re register you will not get paid in August or thereafter. Please share with all state pensioners. Thank you.”

“Contents of this SMS are misleading and cause unnecessary confusion and panic among social grant beneficiaries,” Sassa said. “Beneficiaries are urged to ignore this message as it is incorrect. Contrary to this SMS, beneficiaries do not have to re-register their grants; however they are requested to swap their old SASSA cards for the new SASSA card by end of September 2018. This can be done at local SASSA offices, pay-points or selected Post Offices.

“Furthermore, SASSA would like to clarify that cash pay-points will be gradually reduced (not fully phased out as alleged in the SMS). Where a pay-point is within 5km radius of a Post Office, the Post Office will take over payments for that pay-point.”

Beneficiaries could also choose whichever method of payment that they were comfortable with, the Agency said in a media statement. “They can opt for their social grant to be deposited directly into their personal bank account
(including PostBank) or they can use their SASSA cards to withdraw at ATMS and merchants (e.g Pick n Pay, Shoprite etc).”

Should a beneficiary choose to have their grant deposited directly into their personal bank account they should go to the SASSA office where they registered their grant and request an Annexure C form. This form must be completed by their bank of choice and returned to SASSA.

“SASSA reiterates that beneficiaries will continue to receive their social grants beyond August
2018,” the Agency said. “The Agency will further endeavour to ensure that the transition of beneficiaries from
cash pay-points to electronic methods of payments happens smoothly and without any
hassles.”

Reacting to news of thE fake SMS Minister of Social Development, Susan Shabangu, urged
beneficiaries to be wary of such messages. She further encouraged beneficiaries to contact
the SASSA toll-free line on 0800 60 10 11 or visit their nearest SASSA office if ever in doubt
about any message they receive.

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