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Rand Swiss director Gary Booysen shares his SAFER checklist that will help prevent you losing money in investment scams.

Bruce Whitfield interviews Gary Booysen, Director at Rand Swiss.

Investment scams are in a stage of proliferation, and would-be investors need to be extra-vigilant as they’re swamped with unsolicited calls and emails.

You should also be wary of word of mouth recommendations, the sorts of “tips” you get socialising around the braai.

Bruce Whitfield gets some valuable advice about how to recognise scams and protect yourself, from Gary Booysen who is a director at Rand Swiss.

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Quoting some of the latest statistics, Booysen notes that Google blocks around 100 million phishing emails every day, a form of cybercrime where scammers try to obtain your data and receive your emails.

RELATED: 7 questions to ask before investing your hard-earned money

I think the problem is with the rise of the likes of ChatGPT and artificial intelligence. The scams are becoming smarter and smarter because you can suddenly fire off a couple of hundred million emails, and they can be tailored to the person… so it’s becoming a lot more sophisticated as well.

Gary Booysen, Director – Rand Swiss

Booysen has drawn up a list of pointers for CapeTalk listeners, easy to remember with the acronym SAFER.

SAFER checklist:

1: S = Scam Awareness

Understanding the types of scams that exist help you recognise them – from phishing to ponzi schemes and fake opportunities.

2:A = Authenticate

There are simple checks you can do to establish whether an investment opportunity is legit. Firstly, visit the company website. Also investigate on the Financial Sector Conduct Authority site – by typing in the entity’s name you’ll find out if they’re regulated and any other relevant information.

3: F = Flags

Examples of red flags that should make you wary are high-pressure sales tactics, especially if the investment opportunity was unsolicited, and that old wisdom that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. (If you’re promised a high return for a low risk, that’s likely a scam.)

4: E = Engage to Educate

If an investment opportunity sounds complex, don’t ever be afraid to ask questions. (Your advisor should be able to explain the reason for their proposal and how the investment works.)

5: R = Regulation

Check how the investment product is regulated. Most are, and it doesn’t always have to be through the FSCA – think of something as simple as a share. A company has to meet certain requirements to be able to list on an exchange. (If it is a trust in Guernsey for example, find out how it’s regulated and, if it’s not, avoid it.)

Listen to the interview at the top of the page for the full details

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