Explainer: How to avoid falling for the WhatsApp Stokvel scam

Explainer: How to avoid falling for the WhatsApp Stokvel scam

- The National Stokvel Association of SA has warned against WhatsApp stokvel scams

- Offering high returns for a minimal investment, people have been losing funds at an alarming rate

- Briefly.co.za takes a look at how criminals are using social media to lure victims in and how to avoid becoming one of them

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NASASA has warned people against falling for a WhatsApp stokvel scams after numerous groups targeted unsuspecting victims.

TimesLIVE reports that founder of the organisation, Andrew Lukhele, explained that a traditional stokvel was based on trust:

“Everything is based on trust. In this instance, people come together and you don’t know who you are joining. It is a faceless operation, so what happens when the money disappears? Chances of this thing disappearing any time are there.”

Victims are lured in with the promise of high returns for a small amount, usually only R200. With difficult economic times, citizens are tempted to part with their cash in the hopes of receiving a large payment.

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Briefly.co.za has compiled a list of tips on how to avoid losing your hard-earned cash in scams such as this one:

1. If you are asked to make any payment - it's probably a scam

Pyramid schemes, fake job offers and scams like the stokvel scam all have one thing in common: they want your money. Usually using promises of employment or high returns as bait many part with their funds in the hopes of some success, but usually to their own disappointment.

2. Check online for more information

If a 'company' has approached you offering a massive return on your insignificant investment, do some research. Check to see if the company is registered or search for the phone number to see if it has been marked as inappropriate.

3. If it sounds too good to be too, it probably is

If that stunning holiday home is being offered for a cheap price, that new whip seems like its a discounted offer or that Rolex seems affordable - think twice. Trust your gut feeling that something is off.

Social media has changed the way business is done but make sure that you aren't lulled into compliance, and always remember that a criminal could be behind any profile or text message.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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