Social grant administrator SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) has warned grant beneficiaries of a scam that could result in them having a black Christmas.
The agency said on Tuesday beneficiaries should be on the lookout for people requesting their personal and card details pretending to be from Sassa.
Sassa spokesperson‚ Kgomoco Diseko‚ said the festive season was around the corner and people with sinister intentions were already targeting beneficiaries with a variety of scams.
Diseko said social grant beneficiaries have been inundated with text messages urging them to obtain new cards which are green in colour before January 2017.
“Sassa never communicates with its beneficiaries through SMS and beneficiaries are warned not to respond to any SMSs that these imposters are sending to them.
“Sassa advises all its beneficiaries not to fall for this scam because there are no new Sassa cards and it is not true that beneficiaries should get these cards before 01 January 2017‚” Diseko said.
The agency said beneficiaries should be aware that Sassa cards are not green.
“The only valid Sassa card has the colours of the South African flag and it will never be replaced by a card that is green in colour‚” Diseko said.
Sassa said it only conducts its business from its own offices and beneficiaries should not accept invitations to any other office.
It warned that by responding to such scams‚ beneficiaries risked excessive deductions or even the loss of all their funds.
The agency advised beneficiaries to ensure that they do not give their personal details or card details to strangers as this could lead to identity theft.
“Once a criminal syndicate has your personal details‚ they can commit fraud using your name. Beneficiaries should simply ignore these SMS messages and if unsure they should call Sassa on 0800 60 10 11‚” Diseko said.