Scam alert: Financial sector watchdog warns against WhatsApp forex con

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority has warned the public to stay away from a firm called Worldwide Investments, which it says is using a WhatsApp group to take money from the public on the pretext that it will trade in forex on their behalf.

"The said entity uses a WhatsApp group and takes money from the members of the public and promises to trade in forex and when it’s time to pay back they block you," the FSCA said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Worldwide Investments is neither an authorised Financial Services Provider nor a representative of an authorised Financial Services Provider, the FSCA said. There are no records of an application by Worldwide Investments to become one, either, the regulator added.

It urged consumers who wish to conduct financial services with an institution or person to check their legitimacy beforehand with the FSCA on either the toll free number (0800 110 443) or online.  

WhatsApp scams have been in the spotlight recently, with the R200 WhatsApp stokvel making headlines. Many members of the public have complained of joining up, only to be blocked or met with silence when the time came for their payout.

The National Stokvel Association of SA (Nasasa) has warned South African consumers that the WhatsApp stokvel likely operates in similar fashion to a pyramid scheme, with only the first few members to join receiving a payout.

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