May 26, 2022

There has been news aplenty about an onslaught of investment scams since the start of 2022 – from popular shows on Netflix glorifying the brazen tales of ‘swindlers’, to home-ground stories about opportunists fleecing individuals as well as businesses.

According to the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), South Africans lost more than R1.5 billion collectively in banking and card fraud alone in 2020. Add other scams into the mix, along with victims who are too ashamed to report being targeted, and that number is likely to be significantly higher.

The latest warning comes from the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) about a South African man who allegedly defrauded over 600 investors, some of whom lost more than R1 million, following claims that investors could double their money in three months trading foreign exchange.

And then the headline-grabbing news about a businesswoman allegedly defrauding hundreds of would-be holidaymakers. Add to this a scam circulating in which fraudsters are masquerading as South African Revenue Service officials claiming to have “tax refunds” and/or letters of summons, encouraging recipients to hand over their personal and bank account information.

Phiko Peter, client relationship manager from Allan Gray, said that consumers have been hit hard financially, with shocking fuel price escalation and food price increases. This, together, with our need for quick results, makes for a fertile hunting ground for…

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