It is a great time to be South African right now with the Springboks bringing home the Rugby World Cup and an air of optimism around the country. With real world GDP growth of around 2.0% predicted for 2019/20, it also seems possible that the South African economy is poised for an upturn in the future. Many South African’s will be feeling the benefits of a more stable economy and the employment it brings along with advances in tech being useful to business. If as a result of a growing economy you find that you have some spare money then choosing to invest it rather than putting it in a bank account is worth considering. Doing so could net you a much better return over time and your initial amount invested could grow considerably.

However, as with anything that involves money, you must be on your guard against investment scams. These fake schemes will lure you with promises of fantastical returns, expert advice and easy money, but actually they will just rob you. You could end up with nothing and a feeling of dejection. As more investment happens online now, it is vital to do all you can to stay safe when investing using the internet. But how can you go about that in modern South Africa? We at Forex Fraud are here to help explain the basics.

Check out online reviews

The first and most important thing you should do before investing money into anything is to check the scheme online. Internet technology is now widely available in most parts of the country and it is possible to read online reviews of any investment scheme you have seen. If there are lots of bad reviews which indicate it could be a scam, then you will know to steer clear.

Research is also advisable when investing in reputable markets, not so much to detect a possible scam but to take advantage of the information and tools that are available. The Forex market is a great example – this is a 100% legitimate way to invest money by trading in global currencies including the South African rand. To trade this market you will need to sign-up with an online FX broker. Checking out how trustworthy forex traders are is essential so that you pick one that is legitimate. More than 50,000 people a month use the Forex Fraud website, a real treasure trove of key information about which brokers you can trust.

Use your instincts

In most cases, your instincts will usually tell you if something does not look or feel right. It is important to be guided by them and to only invest in a scheme in which you have total confidence. If anything about it rings alarm bells, then avoid it. This could be anything from a lack of detailed information on how it works to promises of great wealth which seem unrealistic. One thing is always worth bearing in mind – if it seems too good to be true then it probably is!

Only invest with regulated schemes or companies

Before you invest money into any scheme you should check to make sure it is covered by a regulatory body. In South Africa, this is the Financial Services Conduct Authority and there are similar bodies that oversee schemes or companies in other countries. By investing money with companies which are covered by these bodies, you are unlikely to be a victim of fraud as it is an indicator of a reputable scheme. Even if something does go wrong, it means getting your investment back is much easier.

Talk to friends

Another way of protecting yourself from investment schemes which are not all they appear to be is to chat with friends. You might mention the name of a scheme, the name of a company or the name of someone who has contacted you and find that friends have extra information that could be valuable. It may be that they have been scammed by the same person or scheme in the past so that you can avoid it. By making use of your network and being pre-warned you can stay clear of investment schemes which are not all they seem.

Staying safe online is vital for South African investors

The digital revolution within the world of investment requires that you be on your guard at all times. Skilled scammers now target investors in any country in a bid to part them from their money so it is essential to take great care when using the internet as a vehicle for investing.

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