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NSFAS warns of new phishing scam

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The national student financial aid scheme (NSFAS) has warned of a phishing scam aimed at unsuspecting applicants for financial assistance.

“In the past two weeks, first-time applicants, returning and continuing students have been targeted in phishing email and text message scams that aim to compromise personal data,” said NSFAS spokesperson Tsepo Khanye.

Khanye said NSFAS had identified the manner in which the fraudsters lured students into providing confidential information.

ALSO READ: UPDATE: Complete your NSFAS application by tomorrow

He said this occurred via a link which directed a user to a site controlled by the attackers.

“The email or text message scam is designed to look like it is a regular message issued by the NSFAS contact centre.”

Khanye said due to this message, the student aid scheme would no longer communicate directly with students via the SMS channels during the 2019 academic year.

NSFAS said students should not be alarmed as this would take place with immediate effect.

It advised students to only use the myNSFAS online self-service portal to view application status or any other information relating to funding.

ALSO READ: NSFAS beneficiaries urged to pay back loans

“We would like to warn all the applicants, students and parents to be aware of these fraudsters and take extra care when dealing with their personal information online or over the phone. Any SMS messaging regarding funding received following this message will be from fraudsters and not NSFAS.”

Khanye said as the year started, the student financial aid scheme had seen an increase in fraudulent activities.

“This is possibly due to the increase in the number of applications for 2019.”

NSFAS administrator Randall Carolissen said the students’ assistance operators were to be advised that a student would never be asked for account details, password, PIN or OTP over the phone or via email.

ALSO READ: Deadline looming for NSFAS 2019 applications

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