Scammers have used WhatsApp to try to scam individuals with messages about possible early, special or emergency withdrawals of the amount from the Service Time Guarantee Fund (FGTS). You need to be careful, as the only official channels for information about the fund are the FGTS website and app, in addition to the Caixa Econômica branches and website.
Scams became more common after the release of emergency withdrawals of FGTS amounts during the most serious periods of the covid-19 pandemic. In general, criminals send messages as if they were employees of Caixa, which manages the fund, and state that there is an option to withdraw or release funds.
In some cases, data such as full name, date of birth, CPF number are requested. Some scammers also ask the victim to make a transfer or deposit to “release” the money. Anyone who receives this type of contact should block and report the number.
In another modality, scammers send links to websites, claiming that they are pages to enable withdrawals. These sites are often very similar to the real ones, which can cause people to get confused. Anyone who fills in the requested data on these sites runs a serious risk of having their information leaked. With this, criminals can, for example, take out loans in the name of victims.
The FGTS is a right for every worker hired with a formal contract. Every month, employers must deposit an amount corresponding to 8% of the salary into an account in the worker’s name. In addition to the value accumulated month by month, the income (3% per year, plus the Reference Rate, TR) and eventual distribution of profits are added.
Caixa reminds us that FGTS withdrawals can only be made in some specific situations, such as in the case of unfair dismissal; in retirement; for purchasing or financing your own home; if serious illnesses are diagnosed or affected by natural disasters.
Editing: Vivian Virissimo