Complaints mount over company selling ‘share trading’ software

The company operating as Curso Taurorum or Tenacity Capital is under NCC investigation.

CAPE TOWN – The National Consumer Commission (NCC) has confirmed to Moneyweb that it has launched a “full scale investigation” into a company that has been selling ‘share trading’ software promising 40% returns in six months. The company, which sells a product called Optimal Market System Software, has been served with an investigation certificate that compels it to cooperate with the commission.

“The NCC has to date received seven complaints against Cursu Taurorum, and launched a full-scale investigation into the company in August 2015,” said commission spokesperson Trevor Hattingh. “The investigation is envisaged to be completed by February 2016.”

The complaints received by the NCC, a number of which Moneyweb has seen, centre on allegations that Tenacity Capital/Cursu Taurorum has unduly taken money off consumers’ credit cards. These deductions have been made even though the purchase of the software has been cancelled, or the product was returned within the five-day “cooling off period” allowed for in the National Consumer Protection Act. In two cases, the complainants allege that the software was never delivered.

Other complaints maintain that the company deducted amounts without proper authorisation, and that it misrepresented what the costs would be.

Hattingh told Moneyweb that the NCC had met with representatives from Cursu Taurorum and given them a comprehensive list of questions to answer. However, it appears that the company has missed the deadline to provide a response.

Unlikely promises

Consumers who have raised complaints about Cursu Taurorum tell a similar story of how they were approached by consultants selling a trading platform and a subscription service. They were told that they would receive information on which shares to buy and sell and that this would earn them guaranteed returns.

One person said that the salesperson had given the impression that he worked for the JSE.

In most cases, it appears that the salespeople made their pitch by first only mentioning the subscription service, which costs R275 per month. This would include a daily SMS that would tell clients which shares to buy and sell, thereby guaranteeing them returns.

Once consumers accept the subscription, however, they allege that the salesperson then tells them they will need the software in order to trade. This costs R22 500 and is immediately charged for. They are told that this will come off the budget facility of their credit cards over a period of 36 or 60 months, but it is put onto the straight facility instead and deducted straight away.

Consumers who express doubt about the cost are allegedly told that they will receive R5 000 to trade on the JSE and by using the system, they will make enough money to pay off the balance within six months. While a simple calculation would reveal this doesn’t match with the 40% return that the salespeople mention (this would only be another R2 000), it appears that people are taken in by the promised returns.

In a few cases, consumers who have bought and paid for the software have allegedly had further amounts of up to R5 000 deducted from their credit cards at a later stage. When they complain to the company, they are told that it was an error due to a system crash. In one case the money was refunded, but in others Moneyweb has been told that it has not.

Questionable sales practices

Moneyweb has been told that the Cursu Taurorum/Tenacity Capital salespeople all conduct themselves in a very convincing and professional manner. They even inform consumers that they have five days to evaluate the software and return it for a full refund if they no longer want it.

However, consumers have told Moneyweb that when they try to do so they are either given excuses or not provided with a proper response until after the ‘cooling off’ period is over. They are either told that it is too late to cancel the contract or that because they have already opened it they will still have to pay the full amount.

It also appears as if the company is playing on racial prejudices to make sales. One of the complainants alleges that a Cursu Taurorum salesman told him that they are providing the product to support Afrikaners and that they were not making it available “to any black or coloured people”.

In addition, neither Cursu Tauroum nor Tenacy Capital is a registered financial services provider. It would have to be registered with the Financial Services Board (FSB) in order to offer any kind of financial advice, and share trade recommendations might be considered as such.

Neither company is a member of the JSE either. They are therefore not recognised brokers and are not permitted to offer a brokerage service.

The FSB confirmed to Moneyweb that it has also received a complaint about the company, which it is “considering”.

No response from Cursu Taurorum.

On Friday October 23, Moneyweb called Cursu Taurorum and spoke to someone who identified herself as Marie-Louise. When asked if she could put us through to the people responsible for dealing with these complaints, we were initially told that she did not know who the responsible person was.

However, upon being asked a second time, Marie-Louise said the person to speak to was Cindy, but that she was not in the office. She took our details and told us that Cindy would call us back to discuss the matter. However, we have yet to be contacted.

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“A fool and his money are soon parted”
The best market analysis software available cost less than R7000. In any case, for a novice to buy a software package in the belief that he will make money on the stock-exchange is like the guy who buys a 13 spanner to service his car himself, or the guy who buys a scalpel and now believes he is a successful plastic surgeon.

Agree all round. Maybe some of these software crooks can get caught, everyone makes money in the bull markets it is when it turns that you have to be in the right stocks to preserve wealth. There is no software for that, only good old experience and fundamental analysis.

When you see a business with a pompous latin name that contains a grammatical error, run for the hills.
I suspect that it should have been “cursus taurorum” = “the run of the bulls” and not “cursu taurorum” = “with the run of the bulls”.
But then again, perhaps they meant to use the ablative.

Caveat emptor. Or, noli illegitimum carborundum (don’t let the bastards grind you down).

If their ‘software inventions’ worked they would be busy trading. Not trying to sell it over the phone.

This share-software business model is extraordinarily resilient. There really is one born every minute.

There truly is a sucker born every minute, on this beautiful continent of ours, Africa!

Speaking of which….do you want to get rich quick? I want to offer you an opportunity of a lifetime. I got a magic potion that will make you dream the exact numbers that will appear on the Lottery, just send me a R1000 at the following number 0800-am-a-idiot or 0800-am-a-fool

What a bunch of numskulls!

If you didn’t become a prey of this people yet count yourself lucky. The way they operate is disgusting to say the least. Not after you signed their agreement and they deduct money out of your account will you know that you purchase only a software program. They are very very professional con-artists. I’m in sales for 20 years and I think I know a lot of good sales maneuvers to get someone to purchase a legit product for a legit company, but believe me, this guys will sell you anything with a smile on your face and you will feel that you have the best deal in the world until they strike. Be warned.

One of these guys tried to sell a program to me a few months ago, while making the appointment I realised he was just repeating a well learned sales pitch. I asked him how many crashes he had been through. He did not quite understand, I then explained that I had done them all since the 1987 crash and survived. That I has actually been in the market since about 1975 and mentioned technical and fundamental analysis. Well he never pitched for his appointment………enough said.

The problem is us people, not the con-artists…. I read the e-mails here, “A fool and his money are soon parted”— “Caveat emptor”— “There really is one born every minute”— “If you didn’t become a prey of this people yet count yourself lucky”— “There truly is a sucker born every minute”.

Instead of fighting the criminals its always the victim’s fault…. “have we no decency at all?”. People will continue to be scammed, people will continue to be defrauded, people will continue to be robbed, woman and children will continue to be raped, our cars will continue to be hi-jacked… the criminals, con-artist and fraudsters know that victim will be ashamed of reporting in fear of being shown no compassion because he/she should have known better…. “Wrong things, bad things, evil things happen because good men and women like you and I sit back and do nothing”, but worse of all; we make fun of the victims.. we use all the phrases I observed above.

Boombang it is true what you say and yes I fall prey to this guys and I’m one of those who will not sit back and do nothing. They just pull the wrong tail now and I would like for others to come forward that these scammers can be stopped.

@ Sensei: I am member of Mensa and I was swindled – thus you might be wrong with your comment… There is a big difference between fraud and a bad business deal. In my case I did not buy a software program, but a trade account on the JSE. The Fraudster confirmed three times that he is an employee of the JSE. All guarantee’s were given about money back and 5 day cool off period, but their lawyers found a loop hole in the law where if the product is software, the 5 day cool off period does not apply. This is fraud and the same will happen to you if a person misrepresenting himself as say a policeman would swindle you, does not matter how clever you think you are.

I was approached by a rep from a company called Quantico Trading. Same story as above. Luckily I did not sign-up as the website looked ‘fishy’: http://quanticotrading.co.za/ and some-or-other instinct warned me. I could find no other info on this Quantico Trading on the net.

After I refused to sign, the rep’s behaviour became very mysterious as sms’s were being sent and received. He actually wanted to create an impression that he was my savior and I am a loser for not accepting his ‘golden ticket’… I have apparently made peace with my desperate situation… I was also coached on what to say if ‘they’ called…

He gave me a cell number and I tried to call on front of him and he then gave me another number, that worked. I have his name and can probably retrieve his ID from my organisation, as he had to register to gain entry to the premises.

Any suggestions? I feel that I should warn unsuspecting people as he also told me that many of his ‘customers’ are pensioners.

The same thing happened to me with a company called Aeromax Direct Co. They swindled me out of 10k but I was lucky to get it back from through my bank. They sold me the same story.
Be careful of these scammers as they seem very legit.

Yes I had the same problem with this company. On my side everything went wrong when I left my wife with this scam artist to take my staff home. On my return he had convinced her to purchase the program over a 60 month period (something never discussed through his original pitch whilst I was there) sadly she had paid the figure using her credit card. It was only some hours after he left I smelt a rat and we phoned our bank card department and cancelled the card. This was on Friday evening and when we phoned Saturday to ensure the money hadn’t gone through we were told an investigation of fraud had been anitiated but we would only find out the results of this on the Monday as they never worked over the weekend? Needless to say we are holding our breath this morning waiting to hear if the transaction has been reversed or not. Yes like many others we were stupid and feel embarrassed about it, but if there is any advice out there how we can help to catch these guys we would be more than willing to do so. I was lucky enough to obtain his cell number from the guest house he stayed at that actually works. When he answered the phone I explained I was a little confused on a few issues and asked him to come and see me to discuss them. He agreed, but again needless to say he never arrived. Any constructive advice would be welcomed.

End of comments.

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