The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has urged social grant beneficiaries to ensure they keep their payment cards as well as pin codes safe.
SASSA Mpumalanga spokesperson, Senzeni Ngubeni, said the agency has received numerous complaints of cases where beneficiaries have lost their cards resulting in their social grant money being withdrawn fraudulently.
Ngubeni reminded beneficiaries that no person can withdraw their money without their consent and unless they provide their pin code and card.
Beneficiaries were also warned that sharing pin codes with untrusted members of families or strangers could result in the loss of social grants payments and undue hardships.
"Those who are accessing their social grants at the ATMs must ensure that they observe their surroundings/environment [and] move away if they see anything suspicious, before using an ATM. Beneficiaries are warned that if an ATM machine is obstructed from their view or is poorly lit, they should visit another ATM," said Ngubeni.
They should not ask for assistance from strangers and after the transaction is complete they must put their cash, card and receipt away immediately.
Beneficiaries are discouraged from counting money at ATMs but instead they should count their money in a safe place or later, and always keep their receipt safe.
"At the merchants, beneficiaries must memorise their pin codes and insert cards themselves. Beneficiaries are discouraged from writing down their pin as it poses a risk should the beneficiary misplace the card," Ngubeni said.
Social grant beneficiaries must not hesitate to report any fraudulent and corruption cases to the police station nearest to them as soon as possible should they suspect wrong doing.
The agency further encouraged old age grant beneficiaries to access their social grant at the nearest South African Post Offices.
Beneficiaries seeking more information should contact SASSA's toll free on 0800 60 10 11 from 8am - 4pm, Monday to Friday.