Many consumers have been fleeced of their hard-earned money by unscrupulous individuals who copied the Asonge Share scheme.
Asonge is a government-created investment initiative to empower disadvantaged South Africans.
The copycat is called Umnotho Wangempela Minerals and was advertised in Sowetan, using the newspaper to defraud investors.
Morakane Mongo became one of the victims. She says prospective clients were told to follow the same procedure as Asonge, so people believed the scheme was legitimate.
"They asked for the investor's name, postal or residential address, green bar-coded ID book, copy of a valid ID, banking details and contact details," Mongo. says. "And they insisted that you had to be at least 18 years old."
The minimum amount one could invest was R2000. That is what Mongo invested.
She noticed that there were no contact numbers on the documents but invested in the scheme anyway.
"I forwarded all the documents to a postal address in Port Elizabeth and never heard from them again," Mongo says. She wrote to the address asking the scheme to acknowledge her investment but to no avail.
Cheryl Kemp, speaking on behalf of the Port Elizabeth post office, says the post box used in the scam is still operational and is registered in the name of an individual.
She does not want to divulge details of their client because of a confidentiality protection clause. She says she can only give the information to police on demand.
Mongo has laid a fraud charge against the post box owner.