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Another scam Facebook post using South Africa's Covid-19 social relief grant

A message posted on Facebook on 17 June 2020 claims applications for the R350 unemployment grant from the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) are now open.

It links to a website where people can get “more information”. Facebook users are also asked to comment on the post with the name of the province where they live, in order to get an application form. 

The South African government has introduced several social relief measures, including a R350 grant, to help people in financial difficulty caused by the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown

But the Facebook post is a scam, like others Africa Check has exposed before. The link does not go to the official Sassa website. Instead, it takes you a web page with a list of more links, each offering different options: one says “Sassa aply 350 now now”, another says “RDP house aply”. 

These links go to yet another web page called “My SA jobs”. Some of the information on the page has been copied from genuine articles and job adverts but there is no way to apply for the social relief grant from here. 

The Facebook post is likely clickbait, which tries to lure large numbers of visitors to a website to earn advertising revenue. Africa Check has explored a similar tactic used in job scams. 

Apply via WhatsApp, email or SMS – not Facebook   

As of  31 May, 116,867 people had received the R350 social relief grant. A further 666,381 have been approved to receive the payment. 

According to the Department of Social Development, people can apply for the R350 social relief grant by submitting their information to Sassa via WhatsApp, SMS or email. Applicants can also phone the call centre on 0800 60 10 11 or visit the official social relief website. – Africa Check


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