No evidence that coronavirus is being spread through banknotes in South Africa – but beware of scammers

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has no plans to withdraw banknotes and coins due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it said in a statement on Monday (16 March).

The SARB said it has been made aware of ‘fake news’ that involves a scam claiming that it is recalling money from the public.

“It is believed that criminal elements are visiting the homes of members of the public telling them to hand over banknotes in their possession because the banknotes have been contaminated with the coronavirus,” it said.

“These criminal elements carry fake SARB identification and provide false receipts in lieu of the banknotes “collected” which they purport can be collected from any of the banks.”

The central bank said there currently is no evidence that the coronavirus is transmitted through the use of banknotes and coins.

I added that it will not, under any circumstances, send employees or representatives to collect cash from the public.

If members of the public are approached by individuals purporting to be SARB employees or representatives, to hand in their cash, they should refuse and contact local police, it said.

Minister of finance, Tito Mboweni called on South Africans not to panic so as to keep the economy moving.

Global cases of the coronavirus stand at 182,683, with 79,883 recoveries and 7,173 deaths.

95,627 cases are still active, with 6,163 being in critical condition. South Africa meanwhile, has 62 confirmed cases.


Read: South Africans are panic buying because of the coronavirus – but that could lead to further problems

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No evidence that coronavirus is being spread through banknotes in South Africa – but beware of scammers