The stokvel market remained resilient to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, with contributions continuing throughout 2020. While many members are looking forward to splitting their stokvel dividends ahead of the holiday season, fraudsters are also eagerly waiting and looking for ways to scam members of their stokvel contributions.
Stokvel-related robberies and thefts are most prevalent at this time of year, and the bank encourages stokvel clubs to adopt reasonable safety measures when withdrawing and sharing their money, to avoid becoming victims of crime.
Sifiso Nkosi, Growth Manager for FNB Cash Investments says, “The year 2020 hasn’t been an easy year for many households but stokvel groups remained resilient and continued to save for their group goals. Stokvel members are excited of the work they have put in throughout the year to save for their various needs. We therefore encourage them to be cautious when withdrawing during the busy withdrawal season.”
Nkosi shares six safety tips stokvel groups should consider when withdrawing their savings this holiday season.
- Arrange for the club’s pay-out to be electronically transferred into each club member’s personal bank account or accounts of their choice instead of collecting cash contributions.
- Avoid making cash withdrawals of club members’ contributions on high risk days such as Mondays and month ends.
- The person assigned to withdraw the contributions must be accompanied by another club member to avoid handling the funds alone or falling victim of robbery.
- Avoid withdrawing large amounts of money at an ATM, especially after hours or at congested places where criminals are waiting to pounce.
- Do not withdraw all the funds at the same time. Consider staggering the withdrawals into different days to ensure that your contributions are safe.
- Don’t announce the stokvel withdrawal plans on social media or share pictures of the cash as you might open yourselves to being targeted and defrauded.
“We urge members to exercise extreme caution with their money and always remember that there are safer ways to do transactions, such as internet transfers or mobile banking, instead of carrying large amounts of cash. Lastly, we encourage members to save a portion of their pay-out to help them survive the long coming and dreaded January in the new year.” Nkosi concludes.
INFO SUPPLIED BY FNB.