IN a bid to wipe out fraud, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has stopped 6 000 suspicious grant payments and the figure went down substantially to 500 in the August payment cycle. The decline is as a result of stringent measures put in place to combat fraud by both SASSA and the SA Post Office. According to a statement received by SASSA spokesperson, Paseka Letsatsi, an intensive process of studying the trends was embarked upon and the modus operandi of the fraudsters was exposed. “Subsequently systems and controls were tightened. We can confidently say that the noose has tightened on these criminals and the law will deal harshly with them. “In the recent past, the courts have not only sentenced people found guilty of social grant fraud, but has also issued orders for them to repay what they stole from the state,” Letsatsi said.SASSA is working with relevant stakeholders including all banks to ensure that fraud is ultimately defeated. Letsatsi added, “We (SASSA) are committed to addressing fraud and will continue to do verification of bank details. This means that if a record is not corrected with both SASSA and the bank, the payment will not go through every month.”Any innocent and affected beneficiaries whose payments have been stopped, are advised to make an affidavit at the police station. The affidavit should confirm the correctness of bank details and account holder details. After making an affidavit, a beneficiary must take their bar coded or smart card ID together with the completed affidavit to SASSA or the post office. Those using personal banks must bring along proof of banking details from their banks.