Johannesburg – The National Stokvel Association of SA (Nasasa) has warned that WhatsApp stokvels are most likely pyramid schemes rather than savings projects, and those who joined them may have been scammed.
This follows reports of WhatsApp messages encouraging people to invest in a stokvel for R200 and make R1 000 profit.
Like most pyramid schemes, the first few to join received a pay-out, but those who followed often lost their money.
Nasasa chairperson Andrew Lukhele said scammers are using the popularity of stokvels to create pyramid schemes.
“Traditional stokvels are based on trust where everyone in the stokvel knows each other, and the terms of payout have already been set. The Whatsapp scams often involve anonymous people, so it is impossible to trace the money when it disappears,” he said.