How Retailers Have Been Exploiting SASSA Beneficiaries? 2024

SASSA grants are a lifeline for underprivileged families but unfortunately, fraudsters have been exploiting these systems to fraud beneficiaries for petty gains. In this article, we will discuss how retailers have been exploiting SASSA beneficiaries and how you can report the issue.

How Retailers Have Been Exploiting SASSA Beneficiaries? 2024
How Retailers Have Been Exploiting SASSA Beneficiaries? 2024

How Do You Identify SASSA Beneficiary Mistreatment By Retailers?

Listed below are some ways retailers exploit recipients;

  • Overcharging for goods
  • Refusing to provide change
  • Forcing beneficiaries to spend their entire grant at one time

However, little diligence can go a long way in protecting yourself against SASSA scams. Here are some warning signs that show retailers taking advantage of SASSA recipients

  • Higher prices compared to other stores
  • Being refused your change
  • Pressured to buy more than you need

5 SASSA Beneficiary Exploitation Tactics

Here are 5 common beneficiary exploitation tactics that you should be aware of to protect your much-deserved grant money;

1. Pre-registered Identity Numbers in the System

Fraudsters may obtain or steal personal identity numbers (IDs) and pre-register them within the SASSA system without knowing the actual individuals. This allows the fraudsters to divert the social grants by using fake documents or collaborating with corrupt officials.

2. Fake Messages and Emails Asking for Details

This method involves sending messages or emails that appear to be from SASSA, asking beneficiaries to provide banking information. This information is then used for identity theft or to hijack social grant payments.

3. Phone Calls Claiming to be from SASSA to Phish Information

Similar to fake messages and emails, these phone calls are a form of phishing where the fraudster pretends to be a SASSA official. The caller may ask for personal information, banking details, or security questions under the pretext of confirming details to process grant payments. The information obtained can then be used for fraudulent activities.

4. SASSA Lookalike Scamming Websites

Scammers create websites, tricking users into thinking they are interacting with an official SASSA website. These sites ask users to enter personal or financial information, which is later used for fraud.

5. Illegal Loans

SASSA beneficiaries are offered loans with the promise that repayment can be directly deducted from their social grants. These loans have high interest rates, trapping beneficiaries in a vicious cycle of debt.

How To Report SASSA Grants

If you have been a victim of SASSA beneficiary exploitation tactics, here are some steps you can take to report these issues;

Contact SASSA Directly

  • You can contact SASSA’s toll-free customer care number to address your complaints.
  • You can also email your concerns or issues you’re reporting to the official SASSA email address on their website.
  • Visit your nearest SASSA office to report your issue directly to an official. This might be particularly effective for issues related to your personal grant or if you suspect fraud at a local level.

Use the Official SASSA Website

The SASSA website has an online portal that you can use specifically for reporting various types of issues, including fraud.

National Anti-Fraud Hotline

The National Anti-Fraud Hotline can be contacted to report fraudulent activities anonymously. This hotline is not specific to SASSA grants but is applicable to all types of fraud against the government.

Social Media:

SASSA is active on various social media platforms. While it’s not the most secure way to report sensitive issues, it can be a starting point for getting directions on where and how to report specific problems.

Speak to Your Local Councillor or MP:

If the issue is widespread or involves corruption that might be ignored at the local SASSA office level, consider reporting it to your local councilor or Member of Parliament (MP).


  • Provide as much detail as possible, including dates, times, names, and the nature of the fraud or issue.
  • Try to be anonymous.
  • Keep copies of your communications If you report an issue via email or in writing. Similarly, If you report by phone, note the date, time, and the name of the person you spoke to.


Why is SASSA grants not paid?

Here are a few reasons why a SASSA grant may not be paid out;

  • Verification or application documents are missing from their file
  • A required review or re-application has not been completed on time
  • There are issues detected with a beneficiary’s identity document or account details
  • Grants have been suspended

Who are SASSA beneficiaries?

SASSA beneficiaries are eligible citizens who receive social assistance grants from the government.

Are there any legal repercussions for retailers found exploiting SASSA beneficiaries?

Yes, retailers engaging in exploitative practices may face legal consequences such as fines, sanctions, or even criminal charges, depending on the severity of their actions and local laws.


SASSA grants are a lifeline for South Africa’s most vulnerable citizens. However, fraudsters exploit these systems to unlawfully divert money away from legitimate beneficiaries. Retailers, in particular, have used tactics like overcharging and refusing change to scam beneficiaries.

Therefore, It is critical to watch for warning signs of exploitation and know where to report issues if they arise. With diligence, reporting, and community awareness, we can ensure SASSA grants truly reach and assist intended beneficiaries rather than landing in the wrong hands.

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