HOW TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN A LEGAL STOKVEL, PYRAMID AND ILLEGAL PONZI SCHEME

Originally Stokvels were referred to under the term “stock fairs”, a practice dating back to the 19th century by English settlers in the Eastern Cape as a rotational cattle auction. This was an in person gathering with attendance as key for participation. The foundation of this culture was built on trust.

This foundational element of trust has remained over the years. This financial vehicle evolved into what is today known as a Stokvels: a unique financial system created within communities by the members and for the members, built on need, trust and a common goal for financial relief.

Over time, the types of stokvels have increased significantly from rotational, grocery, investment, burial to social. The stokvel market has grown remarkably over the years, becoming a key financial vehicle that many people rely on and amassing revenue in the millions.

The increasing numbers and popularity of stokvels and the reliability members place on them have resulted in scammers trying to swindle members out of their hard-earned savings and investments. Scammers pose as legitimate stokvels, investment schemes or property stokvels.

However, these are often nothing more than just a get rich quick scheme in the form of a Ponzi or pyramid scheme.

This has encouraged the need for the National Stokvel Association of South Africa (NASASA) to educate on, protect and preserve this financial system which is a legitimate means for many to achieve financial stability and wellbeing.

How to distinguish between a legal Stokvel, an illegal Pyramid and 9 illegal Ponzi scheme

Useful contacts:

National Stokvel Association of South Africa (NASASA)

087 898 0987

info@nasasa.co.za

www.nasasa.co.za

Anyone who becomes aware of a pyramid scheme should report it to the National Consumer Commission (NCC).

Telephone: 012 428 7000 / 012 428 7726

E-mail: complaints@thencc.org.za

Website: www.thencc.gov.za

If you want to report illegal deposit-taking schemes, contact the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) or Prudential Authority (PA).

Telephone: 012 313 3911 / 0861 12 7272 (General enquiries)

E-mail: SARB-PA@resbank.co.za

Website: www.resbank.co.za

To check if a financial services provider or financial advisor is authorised to sell you financial products and services, you can contact the
Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).

Call Center number: 0800 20 37 22 (FSCA)

FSCA switchboard: 012 428 8000

Website: www.fsca.co.za

To learn more about scams and check if you are being targeted visit the Fraud Alert website www.fraudalert.co.za

Southern African Fraud Prevention Service

Telephone: 011 867 2234

E-mail: safps@safps.org.za

Website: www.safps.org.za

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