NSFAS students warned of online scams

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has advised students to use My NSFAS Online Self-Service Portal to view their application status or any other information related to funding as it has stopped communicating with students via SMSes due to fraudulent activities that aims to access their personal information.

Applicants register to study at CPUT. There are concerns that few students are registering at technical and vocational education and training colleges.

Malicious cyber attackers have recently tried to gain access to students’ financial aid at multiple tertiary institutions in a scheme that involves sending fraudulent emails and SMSes to students.

Students who apply for NSFAS do so free of charge and are not required to pay for the application.

NSFAS spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo said for the first-time over the past two weeks returning and continuing students had been targeted by the phishing mails.

Other scams identified by the scheme include fraudsters luring students into providing confidential information via a link or a site controlled by the suspects. The email or text message scam is designed to look like an official message issued by the scheme’s contact centre. Students receive mails requesting them to update their account information by clicking on a link. The scheme is warning all students to take extra care when sharing personal information online or on their cellphones.

NSFAS said it would never ask applicants for their account details, password, Pin or OTP over the phone or via email.

“Unidentified attackers are posing as NSFAS representatives and sending out emails requesting applicants and progressing students to update their account information by clicking on an embedded link. 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,” read the NSAS notice.

Students should use the myNSFAS self-service at www.nsfas.org.za