As the year began, many chancers have been circulating what seems like legit property stokvels. A closer look into these property stokvels, they seem are too good to be true. They promise those that want to join a lot of returns. The following are things to look out for from the very beginning to ensure that the stokvel is not a scam:
It is always advisable to join a reputable stokvel, one that has been in existence for a significant time. If it is a new stokvel, ensure that the stokvel is run by those you know and trust. It is very risky to join a stokvel online with people you have never met. It is also important, that before making any payments; the bank account is verified with the bank. To ensure that it is indeed a stokvel account. The rule of thumb here is to avoid online stokvels with people you do not know.
It is also important to verify any registration numbers; many of these stokvels on Facebook claim that they are close corporations. If indeed they are, this can be verified by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) using this link: https://eservices.cipc.co.za/Search.aspx or by calling 086 100 2472.
Look for the minor details and the comments made by others, when looking through all these adverts online. By doing so; it will be easy to pick up any irregularities. Other interested parties may ask questions like: does the stokvel take debit orders and if the response is no, that should raise flags. Why will a reputable business, with a proper stokvel account, and valid agreements between the stokvel and its members fail to get a debit order form from the bank? Others will ask for referrals or testimonies; most of these scams do not have referrals or testimonies. These stokvels will likely argue that because they are new; they have no testimonies or referrals.
It is imperative that before a stokvel is digitized, and goes online to look for other members, it has done a pilot with its own members. By doing so, it will have others that can attest to the Stokvels’ existence. It already looks dodgy that a stokvel of people that have never met; will decide to launch a completely new stokvel online and start recruiting people.
Lastly, look out for the too good to be true factor, it is usually right there. For example, how can one contribute R280.00 monthly and get a guaranteed return of over R150 000.00? For the stokvel to be able to give one member every month 150 000.00 it will need to have at least 536 members that will not default or drop out. For each member to eventually get their own 150 000 it will take a little over 45 years. It is simply impossible to do as other members will either drop the stokvel or die before to receive their R150 000.00.
Other stokvels even claim that they do not give you cash but pay the money to your selected building warehouse for those that intend to pursue home improvements. It offers you no guarantee that the building warehouse will indeed receive the full amount. Leading to members; now being caught up between trying to discover who stole their share. Is it the building warehouse or the stokvel?
Scams come in many forms; the public needs to be vigilant at all times.