THE Matatiele community are devastated after an apparent “legitimate” investment scheme disappeared with their hard-earned money.
Fever can reveal that among those who invested their money the bogus money-saving schemes - “My Reward Weekly Plan” and “Cash Flow Stokvel”, which promised thousand of rands in return - were municipal workers, police offices, teachers, nurses, security personal and taxi drivers.
My Reward Weekly Plan and Cash Flow Stokvel has been taking money from unsuspecting investors since the beginning of 2015.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Raphael Motloung said he is aware of these “investment’ schemes, but no one has opened a case against them after they closed down and disappeared.
Both schemes were based in Matatiele and distributed leaflets advertising their marketing strategy which attracted a huge amount of people in Matatiele, thus growing the businesses.
Initially investors were asked to pay a R400 “joining fee”, then they were asked invest a minimum of R1 000 and were promised a return of R2 000 after a week, which meant they would be getting 100% interest on their money.
Fever can confirm that many investors were admitted to hospital due to stress when they saw that the offices of both financial schemes had closed and staff had disappeared.
Sivuyile Lunda fell victim to My Reward Weekly Plan and said he was lured by the return he initially received when he made his first investment.
He invested R2 000 and received R4 000 in return a week later.
“Again I trusted the scheme after I received the first investment and I decided to invest R8 000, but they only deposited R2 000 in my account as a return, so they still owe me lots of money,” said Lunda.
Another victim, Katleho Kolla, said he invested R2 000 and was promised R4 000 in return.
“After investing my money I waited two weeks, which was when I would get my return, but after two weeks nothing had been paid into my account. I visited their offices to inquire about this, and they told me to wait another seven days. After seven days there still wasn’t any money deposited, so I went there again, but found that their offices had closed.
Tshele Tawana said he invested R1 000 at Cash Flow Stokvel, but he didn’t receive any return.
When Fever visited the My Reward Weekly Plan offices last Friday many angry residents were standing outside waiting to get into the office, but it was locked and empty.
Fever phoned the My Reward Weekly Plan and Cash Flow Stokvel directors’ cellphone numbers, but they were both went onto voicemail.
The Financial Services Board warned communities about scam financial schemes, including Kipi.
Another so-called stokvel, Kipi Investments - also known as Kipi Investment Dreams and Mydeposit247 Community – has been referred to the National Consumer Commission for investigation by the Reserve Bank. The scheme is allegedly being operated by a man who has been behind a number of similar schemes, including Defencex, which was closed down by the Reserve Bank in 2013.