The COVID-19 pandemic has throttled our economies. Consumers are under severe pressure and more easily tempted to see a promise of extra cash or big savings as a lucky break - to their detriment.

The proliferation of get-rich-quick scams comes against this backdrop of tough economic times and indications that conditions will worsen in the months to come.

This is all the more reason why you should take promises of overnight riches with a generous pinch of salt.

Protecting yourself against abuse.

Here are a few points to keep in mind when confronted with what looks like a bargain or lifeline but might be anything but:

  • Do your homework. Check that a financial service provider or investment company is registered.
  • Be wary when offered a business opportunity where you have to recruit others to be paid or receive a benefit.
  • Beware of any “secret investment formula” that will only be shared with a select group of investors.
  • Don’t give in to pressure to make a snap decision to invest your money.
  • Don’t believe “first-hand stories and anecdotes” of successful investors; they are most probably being paid by the dodgy company.
  • Never share your personal details and look out for spelling or grammatical errors in email or text messages from anyone contacting you with an offer that sounds too good to be true.
  • To check whether you are giving your money to an accredited services provider, contact the Financial Services Board Fraud and Ethics Hotline on 0800 313626 or visit the South African Reserve Bank website on www.resbank.co.za for more information.  

There is no quick buck or a magic fix to your money woes. Use your common sense and good judgment, when such promises are made to you.

Being ready to get things done – that’s Africanacity. And we’re here for it.