Investors still lose their life savings in the hope that they can get rich quickly

DISAPPOINTED: Albert and Mamilo Khumalo invested R24 000 hoping they would secure a truck to earn a living. Pic. Elvis Ntombela. 22/05/07. © Sunday World.
DISAPPOINTED: Albert and Mamilo Khumalo invested R24 000 hoping they would secure a truck to earn a living. Pic. Elvis Ntombela. 22/05/07. © Sunday World.

The belief in short cuts to wealth has financially crippled many thousands of people.

A few weeks ago Sowetan exposed trucking company Wall Street Projects. Since then, there have been 30 complaints against the company.

People who were promised at least R60000 a month have lost more than R1million.

The trucking company told investors they would receive trucks and contracts in return for a non-refundable membership fee of R20000. Many people believed there was a quick buck to be made and invested in Wall Street Projects.

Albert Khumalo, 72, and his wife Mamilo, 70, are not eligible for a government grant because they were once rich. They signed a contract with Wall Street Projects in 2005 because they were assured of receiving a truck for R24000. They lost their life savings.

A spokesman for the commercial crime unit has since advised people to lay criminal charges against the company.

Meanwhile, three would-be entrepreneurs claim Global Distribution, also known as the Institute of Training Excellence, has fleeced them of about R80000.

Gerald Kgadi paid R17670 into an account he was given by the owner, Nigel Ritson in 2005 after attending a presentation.

The presentation was about learning material for students.

He did not receive any training and decided to cancel his contract.

Kgadi said Ritson agreed to refund him after discussing the matter with his superiors. This has not happened.

In a separate instance, Mapula Sibanyoni paid R28500 to Gold License after a presentation. She signed a contract, but decided to withdraw from it after realising it was one-sided. She wanted a refund, but was told that her Gold License would have to be sold before she could be refunded.

Hilda Madiba and her partner Lesigo Kekana lost R28500 to Gold License to distribute their hair products.

They were promised stock worth R10000 and recruitment and training for 10 consultants. This did not materialise and they were told they would get their money back, but would have to sell their worthless license to someone else.

In response to our inquiry, Ritson faxed the terms and conditions of the contract in which he underlined a clause stating that money paid is not refundable.

Why people get conned. Be careful.

l They think they can make money quickly.

l They are told there are only a few opportunities available so they buy without thinking.

l Buying into a self-employment scheme to make money is no guarantee, but people prefer to take a chance.

l Promoters of self-employment scams target people who want extra income or family- friendly employment.

l Some people sell information of no value. Some pretend to provide skills that turn out to be unmarketable. Others underpay for the work that they offer.

l If the promoter feels the need to say "it's perfectly legal", it probably is not.

l If the scheme does not feel or look legal, it is probably illegal.