What Are The Most Common SASSA SRD Scams

sassa srd scams

In recent times, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has become a target for fraudsters seeking to exploit vulnerable beneficiaries dependent on social grants. In this article, I will shed light on the most common  SASSA SRD (Social Relief of Distress) scams, and provide a detailed overview and guidance on how to avoid falling victim to these deceptive schemes.

What Are The Most Common SASSA SRD Scams

It’s crucial to be aware of the most common SASSA SRD scams to protect yourself and ensure you receive the support you deserve. Here are the most common SASSA SRD scams:

Identity Theft

Scammers use stolen or fabricated identities to apply for and receive the SRD grant illegally. This can leave deserving individuals struggling financially and facing challenges proving their legitimacy.  If you’re unable to apply for the grant due to your ID number being already registered, report it to SASSA immediately.

Fake SMS and Emails

Scammers send emails or SMS  claiming to be from SASSA. These messages often contain a sense of urgency and may:

  1. Request personal information like ID numbers, bank details, or one-time PINs (OTPs).
  2. Offer “fast-track” applications for the grants in exchange for fees or personal information.
  3. Contains shortened links, leading recipients to fraudulent websites. The aim is to extract personal or banking details under the guise of updating records for grant payouts.
  4. Threaten to suspend grant payments if you don’t comply with their demands.

You should exercise caution and verify communication through official SASSA channels.

SASSA Phone Calls:

Perpetrators may pose as SASSA representatives, making phone calls to beneficiaries to obtain sensitive information. These calls often involve requests to confirm or update grant details. Beneficiaries should be aware of unsolicited calls and only share information through verified SASSA communication channels.

Fake Websites or Social Media Posts:

Scammers create websites or social media posts that mimic the official SASSA platforms. These platforms may:

  1. Offer fake application forms or claims to speed up the application process for a fee.
  2. Contain false information about eligibility criteria or grant amounts.

To avoid falling victim to this scam, beneficiaries should only use the official SASSA website (https://sassa.gov.za) rather than clicking on links embedded in emails or messages. Double-check the website address for any inconsistencies.

Also Check: What Will Happen To SASSA Grants If The ANC Loses Power?

Illegal SASSA Loans

Scams involving offers of loans against social grants are prevalent. Fraudulent entities claim association with SASSA and deceive beneficiaries into providing collateral using their grant funds. Beneficiaries must recognize that SASSA does not offer financial services or loans. Falling prey to such offers can result in collateralizing grant funds which leads to financial harm.

Unauthorized Changes to Contact Information

Scammers gain access to a beneficiary’s SASSA account and update the registered cell phone number. This diverts future grant payments and SMS notifications to the scammer, effectively cutting off the rightful recipient.

In this case, you will receive unexpected SMS notifications about changes to your contact information. Reach out to SASSA immediately if you haven’t initiated them.

How To Prevent Falling Victim To SASSA SRD Scams

To safeguard against these scams, beneficiaries are advised to:

  • Never share personal information: This includes your ID number, bank details, and OTPs via SMS, phone calls, or unofficial channels.
  • Verify communication: Always contact SASSA directly through their official website or helpline (https://www.gov.za/about-government/contact-directory/soe/south-african-social-security-agency-sassa) to confirm any request for information.
  • Report suspicious activity: If you encounter a suspected scam, report it to SASSA and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Also Check: Why is SRD Grant Payment Delays for February 2024

What Steps Should I Take If Someone Else Applied For My SRD R350 Grant Using My Details?

In case of suspicious activity or unauthorized grant applications, promptly report the incident to SASSA. Dial the toll-free helpline at 0800 60 10 11 or visit the nearest SASSA office. Provide the necessary information to verify your identity, and SASSA will secure your account and guide you through the recovery process.

How Do Scammers Normally Attempt to Access My SRD Grant by Stealing Data?

Scammers employ tactics like fake SMS and emails, phishing websites, fraudulent phone calls, illegal loan offers, scams at ATMs, and impersonation. These attempts aim to deceive beneficiaries into sharing sensitive information. Always remain cautious and refrain from divulging personal details.

What Actions Should I Take If I’ve Fallen Victim To a Scam, And Someone Accessed My Grant?

Directly report the fraud to SASSA by dialing 0800 60 10 11 or visiting a SASSA office. If your card or banking details are compromised, also report to the Post Office. Contact the South African Police Service (SAPS) and, if necessary, utilize the National Anti-Corruption Hotline for further assistance.

How Can I Proactively Avoid Falling Victim to SASSA Fraud in the Future?

Stay informed about the latest scams, only respond to official SASSA communication, safeguard personal information, secure important documents, be doubtful about unexpected offers, regularly review account statements, use official channels for SASSA matters, educate yourself and others, update contact information, and promptly report any suspicious activity.


Can Scammers Use My Personal Information to Apply For Other Grants Besides the SRD R350 Grant?

While the focus is often on the SRD R350 grant, scammers may attempt to apply for other grants using stolen details. Stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity to SASSA promptly.

How can I Verify the Legitimacy of SASSA Officials If They Request Information in Person or Over the Phone?

Always verify the identity of anyone claiming to be a SASSA official. You can contact SASSA directly using their official helpline numbers to confirm the authenticity of the request before sharing any information.

Are There Specific Red Flags to Look For in SMS or Email Communications That May Indicate a Scam?

Scam messages often create urgency and request immediate action. Be cautious of messages claiming your grant is at risk and asking for personal details. Official SASSA communications usually don’t pressure recipients to urgently provide sensitive information.

What Should I Do If I Receive Unsolicited Assistance Offers on Social Media Related to my SRD R350 Grant?

Avoid engaging with unsolicited assistance offers on social media. Scammers might offer help in applying for your SRD R350 grant. Stick to official channels and never share personal details through unofficial platforms.


Remaining vigilant and informed about common SASSA SRD scams is crucial in protecting beneficiaries from falling victim to fraudulent activities. By following the outlined protective measures and promptly reporting any suspicious incidents, you can contribute to the prevention of scams and the overall security of the SASSA grant system. Stay informed, stay protected. Is this helpful so far? Feel free to share with your friends and loved ones. Let them be informed and alert!

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