Kipi - Mydeposit241 is investigated by SARB

8/12/2016

I once got scammed. And it's the most upsetting thing a person has to go through. Here is how it happened.

I was 20 years old and living at home. I was volunteering at a radio station when a fellow volunteer from Kenya introduced me to a business idea. Naturally, I was naive and I honestly didn't think that anything could go wrong. I trusted her.  We were meant to share the spoils by going half and half . Our business was to sell weaves! LOL, I know! So I gave her my hard earned R500 and she was going to put in the other half. She was also responsible for buying the stock we needed.

On the day that she said she was going to buy the stock, I send her a text to check if all went fine and she never responded. I tried calling her but there was no response. I got worried and asked one of my other colleagues and she told me that this lady left the country! I was so livid, I cried! Hahahaha!

I learned my lesson and thank God that today I can laugh about it.

And since then, thanks to the internet, we have seen a lot of scams popping everywhere. From dating sites, to business coaches and entrepreneurs, to higher education scams and emails soliciting money people. I normally get this one:

“Your lost great uncle died and he left you $35,000,000… but you need to pay $1500 lawyers fee to access the money, send ASAP before the government takes the money”. And for some reason unknown to me, red is their favourite font colour.

And social media is also on the bandwagon. I get a lot of follows on Instagram by “entrepreneur” accounts that promise me the moon and stars. When you check out their accounts, they always show how AMAZING their life is through pictures! They all have yachts, private jets and always chilling somewhere in the Caribbeans sipping on wine and eating strawberries in their hot bodies. And they all have lots of pictures of bank accounts with random huge numbers to lure the us in.

According to the SARB’s Supervision Department 2015 annual report (25 May 2016) 19 illegal schemes are currently being investigated, left over from a total of 41 that were under review in 2015. 
This proves the prevalence of how easy members of the public fall for these schemes and scams; and the effectiveness of social engineering in duping the public to part with lifetime savings in pursuit of quick gains and wealth. These include WorldVentures, Kipi (also known as Mydeposit241), Make Believe, NMT Investments, Instant Wealth Club, MMM South Africa, DIPESA, Sikhese (Pty) Ltd as well as the Wealth Creation Club, as previously reported. SARB has voiced their concern not only about the high level of illegal money schemes in the in the country but also the willingness of members of the public to participate in such schemes. 

Talking about Kipi being investigated the first time I heard about it was when I was added to a Facebook group. Don't you hate it when that happens?! That just annoys me. Anyways, I quickly Googled Kipi and yes found a lot of info on it that it's an alleged scam. It's good to be true!

I am always surprised at how convinced people are about the legitimacy of these schemes. And when you start a discussion with the sellers of these products, they go on a defense mode and you get called all kinds of names.

According to SABRIC this is how these scams work. 
An ‘investor’ will lure their victims by guaranteeing high profits that promise little or no financial risk.  In most instances the investor will be vague about the nature of the investment, but will stress the rate of return. These investors hype their high-level financial connections; the fact that they’re privy to inside information through social engineering techniques and that they’ll guarantee the investment. To close the deal, they often come up with phony statistics, misrepresenting and stressing the uniqueness of their offer.

 I have also experienced this with this one multi-level marketing scheme which is quite popular. Their sales people always talk about what's in their bank accounts but nothing on how the scheme works. And while working for another station, we did an interview with them and they never explained how they made their money. Instead the guy went around the question. And guess what, he drives a Merc! All MLM schemes rely on a continuous turnover of gullible recruits – and that is the immoral part of it.

Signs to look out for that it is a “Get Rich Quick scam”
  • It claims to pay out double-digit returns
  • It claims to be an opportunity of a lifetime
  • You can’t understand how it generates money
  • It is not a registered product or a product offered by an authorised financial services provider
  • Returns or profits earned are dependent on recruiting more members to the scheme
Awareness tips on how not to fall victim to “Get Rich Quick scams”
  • If it sounds too good to be true, its most likely a scam
  • Be sceptical of any investment’s insistence that you act NOW
  • Be careful of investments that guarantee you high profits with little or no financial risk
  • Exercise due diligence in selecting investments and the people with whom you invest- DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE INVESTING YOUR MONEY
  • Consult an unbiased third party- like an unconnected broker or licensed financial advisor before investing
Remember, always do your home. Google is your friend and visit websites like SABRIC to find out which schemes are being investigated. 

And if you spot a scam, report it. Your reports help the law enforcement investigate scams and bring crooks to justice.

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