Don’t Fall Victim to Scams
You should always be on your toes if ever faced with offers that seem too good to be true. You may come across individuals who present you with extremely attractive offers that come with lucrative returns − but beware. When a proposition sounds far-fetched, you are most likely participating in a fraudulent scheme.
Common features of illegal schemes
Stay sceptical when you encounter the following situation. Here are some common features of illegal schemes that everyone should take note of: -
- Investors may not be given copies of any documentation including agreements by the operators.
- The approach by the operators may have been made via mail, telephone, Internet or in person, but the intention is always the same, that is, to take money from unsuspecting victims for goods or services that they have no intention to provide.
- The scheme promises very high returns.
- There is also no assurance that the operators of such schemes can continue to pay the high returns.
- Investors may be asked to pay in cash.
How it works?
At the beginning of such schemes, the operators are able to use money received from subsequent depositors to pay high returns or to repay the principal amount to the earlier depositors.
The operators are however unable to invest the deposits in equally or more lucrative ventures or investments and therefore unable to sustain the high returns or repayment promised to their depositors.
These schemes fail eventually when there are no new deposits being continually received by the operators. At such time, the "get-rich-quick" schemes will collapse and the depositors or investors will lose their investments.
Why do you need to be cautious?
Members of the public found participating in illegal financial activities could be charged under the law as abetting the operators of such illegal activities.
How to Protect Yourself?
- Remember the golden rule - if it sounds too good to be true, it's probably a fraudulent scheme.
- Deal only with licensed financial institutions and authorised dealers.
- Always check with the relevant authorities before investing/depositing. Visit Bank Negara Malaysia’s official website at www.bnm.gov.my or the Securities Commission’s official website at www.sc.com.my for the complete list of unauthorised investment products/websites/companies/individuals.
- Don't be pressured or rushed to invest.
- Be extra careful with investments over the internet.
- Be sceptical of any investment opportunity that is not in writing.
- The best way to combat financial fraud is through PREVENTION. Avoid becoming a victim!
Most importantly, keep in mind that there is no short-cut to making money. When investing in licensed financial instruments such as unit trusts, they must be willing to not just invest regularly but to stay invested for the long-term.
This article is prepared solely for educational and awareness purposes and should not be construed as an offer or a solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe to products offered by Public Mutual. No representation or warranty is made by Public Mutual, nor is there acceptance of any responsibility or liability as to the accuracy, completeness or correctness of the information contained herein.