FSCA Warns Public Against Dodgy WhatsApp Group

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) on Tuesday warned the public to act with caution when dealing with a WhatsApp group that is using the name “Fairtree Capital”.

“The individuals behind the WhatsApp group are not authorised in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS Act), to render any financial advice and intermediary services,” said the FSCA.

“The WhatsApp group is soliciting investments from people and promising unrealistic and excessive returns.

“They are using the names of a legitimate financial services provider (FSP), Fairtree Asset Management (Pty) Ltd FSP 25917, Fairtree Capital Hospitality (Pty) Ltd FSP 46033 and Fairtree Private Client (Pty) Ltd FSP 12179 in order to appear to be doing legitimate financial services business.”

These FSPs have confirmed that they are in no way associated with the WhatsApp group.

The FSCA said the WhatsApp group was conducting unregistered business and was providing advisory and intermediary services without the necessary authorisation.

“Members of the public should always check that an entity or individual is registered with the FSCA to provide Financial Advisory & Intermediary Services and what category of advice it is that the entity is registered to provide,” said the financial sector conduct authority..

The FSCA said consumers who wish to conduct financial services with an institution or person should check with it beforehand.

The FSCA can be reached on either the toll-free number (0800 110 443) or at www.fsca.co.za to check if such institution or person is authorised to render financial services, and in particular which products they are licensed for.

“There are instances where persons are registered to provide basic advisory services for a low-risk product and then offer services
of a far more complex and risky nature.