Scams frequently promise things you want, such as a guaranteed return on investment or a loan at a low interest rate. Stay safe and learn how to spot a scam.
Watch out for these red flags
- Promises of a loan with no questions asked and at a low interest rate
- Requests to use your details such as your address or ID for a fee
- Requests from strangers on social media for money or your contact details
- Requests to use your cell phone to make urgent calls
- Promises of high investment returns with no risk
- Requests to recruit other members or investors to a club or scheme to earn money. These could be pyramid schemes
What you can do
- Stay aware and be suspicious. Ask questions about what is being offered, by who, and what you have to do
- Take your time. Walk away if someone asks you to act or give money immediately
- Enquire about individuals or companies offering investment opportunities with the relevant registration body (see below) and if they are not registered walk away
- Don’t hand over any personal documents
- Keep your personal information safe. using hard to guess passwords for your cell phone and apps
- Don’t hand over your phone to anyone. Dial emergency numbers yourself when asked for assistance
- Be careful who you friend and chat to on social media. Don’t accept requests from people you don’t know
- Don’t open links or documents in WhatsApp, e-mails or SMS’s unless you know who they are from and why you are receiving them.
How to check if investors are registered
Contact the Financial Conduct Sector Authority on 0800 20 37 22 or visit their website.
Or, contact the National Consumer Commission on 012 428 7000 to report a pyramid scheme.