Stay alert for fraudsters offering huge returns and impersonating well-known companies
Scammers use WhatsApp and Facebook to lure vulnerable consumers
As the financial effects of Covid-19 takes its course, fraudsters are increasingly attempting to take advantage of vulnerable consumers.
The financial sector regulator is warning the public against scammers who are offering loans at low interest rates from Stanlib Loan Wealth Management, leading you to believe they are part of Stanlib Wealth Management when they are not.
The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) says in a statement the scam is communicated on WhatsApp using the cellphone number 067-209-1945 and e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stanlib has confirmed that they do not have any connection with the scammers, the e-mail address and WhatsApp number being used. Any suspicious or unsolicited e-mail should be reported to email@example.com.
In another WhatsApp scam, individuals impersonating Allan Gray are offering short-term investments with a 100% return on investment.
Allan Gray has confirmed that the WhatsApp profiles do not belong to them or affiliated with any part of their offering.
In yet another suspected fraudulent scheme the FSCA says it suspects Money In Crew (MIC) of conducting an unauthorised financial services business and breaching various financial sector laws, including falsely operating as bank.
Warning consumers to be vigilant when offered any investment product or service — especially when they are promised high returns at very low to no risk — the FSCA says MIC promises members who donate R200 once-off, a return of R7,200.
If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is, the regulator says.
The regulator says MIC is not authorised in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act (the FAIS Act) to render financial advisory and intermediary services, neither is it authorised to offer any banking services such as taking deposits from you or investing it on your behalf as it is not registered bank or representative of a bank in terms of the Banks Act.
The regulator also warns the public to steer clear of Amahle Gwebu and Ashley Rix.
Gwebu is placing Covid-19 loan adverts on Facebook in various Facebook groups under the name of IMB Financial Services and Rix offers forex trading services and promises high returns on their investments, which do not materialise.
IMB Financial Services, an authorised financial services provider, has confirmed that it has no affiliation with Amahle Gwebu and does not offer any form of Covid-19 loan assistance.
The FSCA says you should always check that an entity or individual is registered with the FSCA to provide financial advisory and intermediary services and what category of advice it is that the entity is registered to provide, as there are instances where persons are registered to provide basic advisory services for a low risk product and then offer services of a far more complex and risky nature.
You can check a financial services provider’s credentials by phoning the FSCA toll free on 0800-110-443 or on its website (www.fsca.co.za).