South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is warning residents about a WhatsApp advertisement of a so-called unemployment grant for R2 200.
Sassa issued a statement placing it on record that there is no such thing as an unemployment grant or voucher that it distributes and that the advertisement wasn’t produced by government.
Sassa added that authors of this fake news could be criminals who are trying to scam vulnerable and unsuspecting members of the public. The public is warned not to download the form that comes from the fake website on the advertisement as this could lead to possible identity theft. Government websites do not end with .co.za and the public has to read the finer details in order to identify these scams.
Meanwhile the government has also been hit by fake news posts. The government also issued a statement condemning the posting of fake and sarcastic information on challenges affecting South Africans and attributing them to political principals. These posts are intentionally false and are misleading readers and deter the country’s efforts to effectively address challenges experienced by South Africans.
The statement reads: “In recent posts online satire is used on issues such as selling of matric certificate and rhino poaching, amongst others. Faux news, such as these, is detrimental to those involved and the rest of its consumers. Government cautions the public to guard against these websites and interrogate the content they receive, as it has the potential to create negative and uncalled–for effects.”
“An informed public is crucial to any operating democracy; and incorrect information is especially damaging in news which appears to be authentic. We are cautioning people to refrain from spreading fake news as government policies are misrepresented on these fake websites,” said Acting GCIS Director-General, Phumla Williams.
Residents are encouraged to be wary of providing strangers with their personal documents, ID numbers and proof of residence; and reminded that if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is. – Seithati Semenokane