The National Stokvel Association of South Africa (Nasasa) is warning South Africans about WhatsApp stokvel scams which are targeting victims through social media.
These WhatsApp stokvels catch unsuspecting victims by promising them a large return on investment in a short period of time.
For a R200 upfront investment the scammers promise that people will be paid R1,200 if their recruit more people into the scheme.
Participants said that as soon as they paid their money to the “WhatsApp stokvel”, the rest of the members disappeared.
Andrew Lukhele, founder and chairperson of Nasasa, warned that these WhatsApp stokvels are pyramid schemes.
As it is a pyramid scheme, only a few people who form part of the stokvel will get paid out. The rest will lose their money.
Lukhele warned that criminals are using the popularity of stokvels to promote their scams.
The SA Police Service (SAPS) has also warned South Africans about these scams, saying that members of cash savings clubs (stokvels) must be cautious.
The SAPS said it has received multiple complaints from people who were scammed by criminals through a WhatsApp stokvel.
The police have asked the victims of the scams, or those who have knowledge about them, to contact the SAPS Crime Stop helpline on 0860 010 111.