How Whatsapp groups are ruining the travel stokvel's reputation
Saving for a travel holiday can take months, if not years.
Travellers want their trips to be nothing short of perfect and will pull out all the stops to make that happen.
So when a Whatsapp group that promised a hefty profit on your investment did the rounds on social media, many travellers could not refuse.
To be added to the Whatsapp Stokvel Group, you needed to provide a joining fee of R200.
Newcomers then had to “recruit as many people as possible” to “make their way to the top”.
Potential travellers were promised a profit of R1 000 profit with a total return of R1 200. To invest again, you needed a joining fee of R200 to register again.
While only a few people received the money, many labelled it a scam and a pyramid scheme when their investment yielded no return.
National Stokvel Association of SA has warned South African consumers that the WhatsApp stokvel is likely a pyramid scheme.
South African Police Services (SAPS) have also asked potential victims to come forward.
The alleged stokvel scheme has raised an important question: “How reputable is your travel stokvel?”
In the past, many people gravitated toward travel stokvels with close family and friends. Since then many saving alternatives have sprung up with “too good to be true” options promising value for your money.
Many chose the latter.
Flight Centre Travel Group Business Leader Emerging Markets, Lance Nkwe said travellers who want to save for a holiday should find respected travel stokvel brands.
“Stokvels have become incredibly popular as a means for people to benefit from the power of group buying and collective savings,” he said, maintaining it is an informal way of saving for a much-needed break.
“Travellers should always deal with someone who they trust or reputable companies. If you find a deal that sounds too good to be true, you should research more about it before you make the final decision,” he said.
He revealed that stokvels are primarily used to book local domestic travel, as well as travel to best-selling destinations, such as Zanzibar, Thailand and Bali.