The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has warned the public, especially farmers, against unscrupulous and faceless people who promise to fast-track farmers’ application for agricultural COVID-19 relief funds.
“These faceless people are calling farmers and sending text messages requesting an amount of R2000 as an upfront payment, promising to fast tract their COVID-19 relief fund applications,” the department said in a statement.
According to the department, the scam artists are parading as government officials.
The fraudulent text message doing the rounds reads: “We see that last year you have applied for Agricultural COVID-19 fund of R50 000 we want to process it fast so can you send R2000 so we can process it before December. Capitec Bank W. WALSH Acc no: 1332654701 Branch Code 470010.”
The department has appealed to farmers to be careful of such fraudulent activities.
“We are appealing to all our farmers to be careful of this fraudulent activities coordinated by unscrupulous and faceless people, it is a scam. Farmers and members of the public must know that they do not have to pay for any government service, especially agricultural relief funding which is meant to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
“The department has finalised the adjudication of all applications received from farmers and the process is now closed. Those farmers who were either successful or unsuccessful have been notified through SMSes,” it said.