The Financial Services Board (FSB) warned the public against dealing with certain individuals that claim to be acting on behalf of Alexander Forbes (AF) for the retrieval of unclaimed pension benefits.
“The FSB has received information that certain entities have been advising members of the public that they are acting on behalf of Alexander Forbes in particular referring to the recovery of unclaimed pension benefits and surplus funds. These entities trace members and recover their unpaid benefits for a fee,” stated the FSB.
While financial services company, AF, confirmed having no association with any of the fraudulent entities. They further highlighted that their general operation was not to make use of go-betweens or agents when dealing with their clients.
“We received enquiries from members of the public as well as community representatives who were concerned about the authenticity of the people conducting these activities. Our forensic department investigated the complaints and discovered that these agents were not connected to AF, and were requesting payment in exchange for benefit facilitation processes which they are not authorised to perform,” explained Lynn Stevens, group executive of brand, marketing & communication for Alexander Forbes.
The company further advised the relevant funds of these scams and requested them to inform their members.
“We have also cautioned members who may be entitled to fund benefits to exercise caution if any person/entity presents themselves as an authorised intermediary or representative to facilitate the submission of claims at the payment of a fee (in advance or upon completion of the claim payment),” stated Stevens.
The company was not able to verify the extent of the number of those affected as they were not necessarily members of funds that they administer.
“Alexander Forbes makes use of authorised tracing agents to ensure that members of funds are traced in order to commence the claims process. They will identify themselves appropriately and request potential beneficiaries of fund benefits to submit the relevant claim form. The fund administrator will progress the payment of any amount/s of benefits due, where applicable, and communicate the payment directly to these members. If you have been approached by individuals requesting payment in order to obtain your benefit, please contact Alexander Forbes on 0860 100 333. Please do not pay any person to do this on your behalf,” Stevens added.
To check if an institution is authorised, contact the FSB on its toll free number (0800 110 443) or on their website http://www.fsb.co.za.
*Alexander Forbes was contacted for further comment but it failed to respond at the time of publication.
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