Safety tips for Stokvels to keep fraudsters at bay this festive season

To have a Tax-Free Savings Account or Not?

Most people are looking forward to the holidays, which is also the busiest time of year for Stokvel withdrawals.

At this time of the year, it’s important for Stokvel members who plan to withdraw or share their group savings to be aware that fraudsters are looking for ways to defraud them of their hard-earned money.

So, it’s always better to play it safe than to be sorry.

FNB Stokvels and Group Savings Head, Sifiso Nkosi shares some safe year-end withdrawal tips for stokvels:

1.    Use safer and convenient digital channels

While cash withdrawals are possible, 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. This option is safer than withdrawing large sums of money, which exposes you to many forms of risk.

2.    Stagger your withdrawals

Do not withdraw all your money at the same time. Consider staggering the withdrawals over different days or weeks to ensure that your contributions are safe. Avoid making cash withdrawals of club members’ contributions on high-risk days such as month ends, especially after hours, at congested places, or at ATMs.

3.    Safety and security

Ensure that the Stokvel signatories assigned to withdraw the contributions are accompanied by another club member to avoid handling money alone or falling victim to robbery. Never announce the stokvel withdrawal plans on social media or share pictures of the cash, as you might open yourselves to being targeted and defrauded.

4.    Plan how you spend your savings

Ensure that you spend your savings wisely. There’s nothing worse than spending for the sake of it. Rather, plan how you will be spending your hard-earned savings by determining which purchases are needs or wants. It’s also important to remember that the festive season is long and that many people who earn salaries will only get them towards the end of January.

5.    Seek help when in need

If you are uncertain how to manage your Stokvel savings pay out, consult with a financial advisor. They are best placed to advise on how to diversify your pay-out contribution into long-term investment vehicles. 

“This is an exciting time of the year for Stokvel members as many get to enjoy the benefits of their financial discipline over the course of the year. For those who are planning to cash in some of their savings, we encourage them to do so safely and responsibly.

“Members whose group savings are with FNB are encouraged to use our digital channels to be able to better manage their money whenever and wherever they are,” concludes Nkosi.

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