South Africa: Small Business Scam Alert

The Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) has warned Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and Co-operatives against sending proposals and paying administration fees for the preapproval of funds to agencies.

"The DSBD warns SMMEs and Co-operatives against such fraudulent agencies purporting to be entities or representatives of the department," the department said on Wednesday.

The department said cyber criminals use national crises and emergencies such as the current COVID-19 pandemic to prey on unsuspecting victims.

"Their modus operandi includes identity theft and pretending, through fake emails, to be representatives of government departments and agencies. The department wishes to remind the public that all funding application processes are on its official websites," the department said.

The department has advised the small business sector not to utilise social media platforms to accept any applications.

Access to services for SMMEs and Co-operatives is free. Any SMME or Co-operative who receives such a request must immediately report the incident to our DSBD Hotline 086 677 7867 or send an e-mail to

Valid information on the sector can be found on;;; or

SMMEs and Co-operatives are encouraged to register their businesses on and funding applications can be done at

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