JOHANNESBURG – Despite calls to guard against scams involving money, many South Africans are still falling prey to dodgy money-making schemes.
Following a new quick cash making scheme known as Whatsapp Scheme or Stokvel, the National Stokvel Association South Africa (NASASA) has warned people not to fall for the latest WhatsApp scheme.
The latest scheme has been doing the rounds on social media and it operates as a purported ‘savings club’ or stokvel, where users join the club with R200 and are encouraged to invite as many other people to join as possible.
— Edith Masupa (@edith_masupa) October 4, 2019
Once someone is added to a stokvel, they are asked to recruit more members, with the promise of earning up to R1 2000 based on how many people join the group at your request.
#sapsHINT If you are a member of a cash savings club (#stokvel), advise members of your club to be extra cautious & not to fall victim to scams. Safety tips #CarryingCashSafely @Sabric @nationalstokvel MEhttps://t.co/0JQuBwOZLChttps://t.co/WQQ2eGgHcj pic.twitter.com/XqTb4WVawr
— SA Police Service (@SAPoliceService) October 9, 2019
When the money is deposited, there is radio silence from the other end but many victims have reported being hoodwinked out of their cash and never heard from the initial messenger ever again.
With more people getting robbed on a frequent basis, NASASA has started addressing the media about the issue.
#WhatsAppStokvel This man who says he lost R1500 in a similar setup with unknown participants, never saw a cent, so he decided to scam others. "So I had to play them. So after they joined (his own whatsapp stokvel) I just took the money and just ran away as well."
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) October 9, 2019
On the other hand, the South African Police Service has also warned people of such pyramid schemes whilst hoping that people will now recognise these schemes for everything that they are.
This comes after many people have reportedly lost thousands after committing to the scam, only to found they’ve lost all of their investments down the line.