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Moonstone warns of fake regulatory exam certificates

Scammers continue to defraud people by claiming they can issue certificates – for a fee, of course – for the FSCA’s regulatory exams.

In September last year, we exposed individuals operating on social media who claimed to work for Moonstone’s exams department.

Read: Scammers selling fake FSCA regulatory exam certificates on social media

Anyone who poses as a Moonstone employee and claims they can “guarantee” passes or RE certificates in return for a fee is trying to defraud you. There is only one way to obtain a legitimate certificate: write the exam at one of Moonstone’s venues and obtain a pass mark. (See below on how to prepare for the exam.)

Anyone who poses as a Moonstone employee and claims they can “facilitate” exam bookings for a fee is running a scam. There is only one way to book for an RE exam, and that is by contacting Moonstone’s registration centre in Stellenbosch. Click here to contact the Exams Department.

The persistence of certificate fraud highlights the need for employers to conduct a thorough check on a prospective employee’s educational qualifications and not simply to accept what could pass for an authentic certificate.

Moonstone will check the authenticity of a certificate if an employer provides us with the candidate’s written consent.

Authentication requests must include a copy of the candidate’s identity document or passport and the certificate/s, together with a signed authorisation by the candidate and an indemnity form to make the information available to the prospective employer. The request, with the documents, must be emailed to faisexam@moonstoneinfo.co.za.

In terms of our mandate from the FSCA, Moonstone is allowed only to confirm or deny that the certificate is valid.

A standard confirmation email will be forwarded after the certificate has been authenticated if it is found to be legitimate. If the certificate is found to be fraudulent, it will be reported to the FSCA.

Please note that FSPs are required to have certificates verified before they enter a candidate’s information on their representative register. FSPs must obtain confirmation from the FSCA to ensure that the RE certificate is valid.

Moonstone does not provide RE study material

It is a condition of Moonstone’s mandate as an examination body that we may not provide training, workshops or study material for the RE1 or RE5 exams. We may not even be involved in helping to develop study material for the exams, because this could be viewed as a conflict of interest.

Furthermore, Moonstone does not accredit, recommend or approve any person or institution that offers courses to prepare for the regulatory exams. Anyone who claims that their training courses or study material is endorsed by, or is affiliated to, Moonstone is trying to deceive you.

How to prepare for the exams

The best way to prepare for the regulatory exams is to use the FSCA’s Preparation Guide. Studying the guide is the first step you should take to ensure that you know what you have to know, and where to find the required information.

Please study the tasks and criteria and the applicable legislation referenced in the Preparation Guide. Remember always to refer to the updated legislation.

The only effective, tried-and-tested way to be prepared for the exam is to work through all the tasks and criteria by reading the relevant legislation and ensuring that you understand what the legislation is saying. The qualifying criteria provide the basis of knowledge and skills against which the regulatory examinations are set. Only questions based on these criteria will be included in the exams.

The Preparation Guidelines for RE1 & RE5, RE3 and RE4 can be downloaded here.

The legislation can be downloaded from the FSCA’s website: www.fsca.co.za > Regulatory framework > Legislation

Moonstone is the only institution approved by the FSCA to provide the regulatory exams in South Africa. Moonstone adheres to the FSCA’s strict policies and protocols governing the setting of questions, the invigilation of exams, and the marking of papers.

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