scam?

in
Cape Town, South Africa
Level 1
7,149 Views

Hi

 

I am expecting my first payment from AirBnb.

 

I have received the following email from Exchange4Free [reporting@exchange4free.co.za]:

 

Your Airbnb payout

Airbnb has a pending payout of ZAR XXX for you. To receive your payout via bank transfer, the South African Reserve Bank requires that you fill out a short reporting form.

Fill in the South African Reserve Bank electronic form for this year here: SIGN THE REPORTING MANDATE

Please call us on 010 500 7819 if you have any questions.

Thanks,

Exchange4free

Email: reporting@exchange4free.co.za

------------------

 

Is this normal? Or is it a scam? The listed phone number is not a local number...

 

Feedback would be appreciated.

17 Replies

Re: scam?

in
Bergen, Norway
Level 10

There was a similar one last week.  As far as I can remember, it was not a scam.  Call the number provided to verify.

Re: scam?

Level 2

HI Martin,

I joined airbnb in Ocotber and if I recall I had to sign a form with regards to excahnge control in order for money to be transferred into my account.

Regards,

Tarynn

 

Re: scam?

in
Cape Town, South Africa
Level 7

I am in South Africa and had to complete the same form. Your bank will now not call you before every payout to ask for what the foreign currency is. The money will be cleared to your bank account immediately. It is a report to the reserve Bank of foreign currency entering SA.

Re: scam?

in
Durham, NC
Level 10

Personally, I would not sign this or click through the link without consulting my bank first.  

Re: scam?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

Check this post, @Martin189

 

https://community.airbnb.com/t5/Hosts/Payout-Change-South-Africa-Exchange4Free/m-p/186377/highlight/...

 

@Lizzie has replied in there with some more details and other posts. Definetely not a scam, unless someone is using exchange4free info to scam. Always due your due dilligence, but this might just be necessary in SA to get your payout!

Re: scam?

in
Hermanus, South Africa
Level 2

hi Martin

It is not a scam.. I have requested payouts to be done via Exchange4Free - which I've received.

Re: scam?

in
Morgans Bay, ZA
Level 1

Hi sune

How do I get this form I have just joined airbnb

Regards Jess Solomon 

Re: scam?

Level 2

Hi;

Similar situation here.

I've received and identical message. The only thing is, the phone number differs from yours by the last digit: +27105007818. This number keeps calling my cellular phone. I haven't replied to a single call from this number yet. It's a weird number because it's got the South Africa prefix (27) I don't recognise the 10 prefix.

 

What made me suspicious - besides the fact that the e-mail message does not come from any of PayPal, AirBnB, SARB or my bank - is that I have been receiving payments via PayPal for some years now, from the USA and from Europe. All this time, I have never been presented with this notice. When a payment is made to my PayPal account, I receive notification from PayPal and, I get my bank foreign exchange desk to receive the transfer into my business account. So, SARB automatically receives notification of this earning through the banking system.

 

I've made a quick check on SARB web site but, so far, I have only been able to find an MP336(b) form for download. However, this is an "Emigration: Application for foreign capital allowance" form.

 

I'll check with a forex branch/desk of my bank, on Monday.

For the time time being, though, I'm treating it as a scam.

Re: scam?

Level 2

Hi again;

 

while digging a bit deeper into the SARB web site, I've come across a set of guidelines regarding currency exchange and transfers. On page 76 of this document, I found the following bullet:

 

"26.1    Integrated form
Business entities must complete an integrated form in respect of all
cross-border transactions at an Authorised Dealer or ADLA.
When the authorised representative of the business entity is physically
present at the Authorised Dealer or ADLA, the integrated form must be
completed and signed by the authorised representative in respect of all
inward and outward payments.
When the authorised representative is not physically present to complete and
sign the integrated form, the Authorised Dealer or ADLA may complete and
sign the integrated form either physically or electronically, provided that the
Authorised Dealer or ADLA has been authorised or mandated to do so by
means of a letter, a facsimile message, an e-mail message or by a recorded
telephonic message to act on the business entity’s behalf."

 

Now, since FNB does my transfers from PayPal and FNB has to be an Authorised Dealer, they get my mandate every time I make a transfer. So, the way I see it, there is no need for an entity other than FNB, even if a legit one, to come in between PayPal and myself.

Re: scam?

Level 2

OK, got it.

 

AirBnB do not transfer payments to PayPal. They basically give hosts no choice but to use exchange4free, who make use of their banking channels.

Re: scam?

in
East London, South Africa
Level 2

Not so, my payment goes to PayPal

Re: scam?

in
Margate, South Africa
Level 1

Hi there, I just received the same email message after my first notification of a payout. Did you manage to confirm if it is scam or not? DId you recieve the payout without completing the form?

Re: scam?

in
South Africa
Level 1

Any feedback on this? I asked Airbnb support and they are unsure of what this is. I then asked my bank and they don't know either. Seems unusual. Those who have signed it, have you had any issues with fraud?

Re: scam?

in
Dublin, Ireland
Level 1

Responding to this late but it's not a scam. The reserve bank requires anyone receiving money from outside the coutry to sign a form they call 'Mandate' form which basically acknowledges that you know where the money is coming from and what it's for. It's one of their anti-money laundering things.

 

I live abroad and send money home using World Remit. Their local partner in SA is Exchange4Free who always alerts the recepient money has arrived through that email you meantioned and then prompts the signing of the form. Usually when the form is signed, money takes 2-3 days to show in the account.

The easiest and quickest way to sign the form is online by just following the instructions sent to your email. You can also fill in the actual form (paper), scan it and return it to the same eamil, reporting@exchange4free.com

 

I've had difficulties explaining this particularly to family members and shops when I send my family money or make a transfer directly to shops e.g furniture or grocery shops so my family can go and purchase stuff from there. Eventually they do it but one shop took almost a month to sign it because they were understandably suspicious and had to get approval from the big bosses etc. Can be frustrating when family is waiting for that bed or fridge but I guess it's necessary.

 

What's important to emphasise is that the longer you take to sign it the longer it'll take for them to release your money.

 

Form has to be signed once a year.

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