SARB launches campaign to warn consumers of risks associated with Ponzi and Pyramid schemes
28 Jun 2012
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has launched a national awareness campaign to warn consumers of risks associated with illegal deposit-taking schemes, sometimes also referred to as Ponzi or pyramid schemes.
The campaign encourages members of the public to report any information on these schemes to a dedicated email address or to report it to the Crime Line number.
Speaking at a media briefing held in Johannesburg today (Thursday, 28 June) Hlengani Mathebula, Group Head of Strategy and Communications at the SARB cautioned the public against illegal deposit-taking schemes.
“These schemes hook the public by convincing them of the high returns in a short space of time. This poses a risk because they tend to collapse when it becomes difficult to attract new investors, or when a large number of investors cash out. The schemes involve payment of purported returns to existing investors from the funds contributed by new investors. Through this process, illegal deposit-taking schemes promise investors that they will gain high returns if they invest in these funds.
Mathebula says various such schemes have been probed by the Bank Supervision Department of the SARB in the recent past.
“My appeal to all is to speak to an accredited financial service provider before investing and to report any suspected Ponzi and pyramid schemes to the South African Police Service or the SARB.”
Mathebula also called on all banks in South Africa to support the campaign and to work with the SARB to publicise key campaign messages.
Campaign elements are primarily radio and print to create awareness in respect of Ponzi and pyramid schemes. The campaign message is Beware of oMashayana. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Speak to your Bank or an authorised financial services provider.
Report suspected illegal deposit-taking (Pyramid or Ponzi) schemes to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively call 0800 677 772 or SMS the Primedia Crime line on 32211.
Group Head: Strategy and Communications
Tel: 012 313 4210
Cell: 082 448 9219
Issued by: South African Reserve Bank
28 Jun 2012
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