A new Whatsapp scam is tricking South Africans out of their money.
Operating under the guise of a Whatsapp ‘stokvel’ the scam works like a classic pyramid scheme, robbing those duped out of their money.
According to Business Tech, users are receiving a message promising R1,000 in return for a R200 investment.
Much like a pyramid scheme, members of this fake stokvel are encouraged to recruit others to ensure their name climbs higher up the list to get paid out R1,200.
Sotkvels are popular savings initiatives in South Africa and are legally overseen by the National Stokvel Association of South Africa (Nasasa). They are not pyramid schemes but rather have rules and member meetings, alerting Nasasa to the current Whatsapp scam.
In recent years, stokvels have become managed over Whatsapp groups, making this scam able to appear like a legitimate set-up. Members contribute a regular amount and are accountable to other members.
Nasasa has warned people about the scam and told Bussines Tech that the scam undermines the trust and legitimacy of the savings groups.
As a result, the South African Police Service have put out tips about how to avoid falling for scams like this one.
These include broad tips regarding phishing, with the last and most important being: If it looks too good to be true, it usually is.
#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