The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has received more than 2,000 complaints and enquiries on financial scams between January and September.

Speaking at the SC’s Virtual InvestSmart® Fest 2021 today, commission chairman Syed Zaid Albar said financial scams, as well as dealings involving unlicensed financial planners, have more than doubled this year, possibly exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“These scams typically promise high returns with little or no risk at all and are promoted over chat groups and social media. It requires payments to be made to mule bank accounts.

“I urge people to please be cautious of such investments because you should never deposit any funds into a personal bank account,” he said.

According to Syed Zaid, SC made 202 new entries on its investor alert list this year, compared with 134 entries made for the whole of last year.

He said 97 websites were blocked in addition to seven Facebook profiles.

“There has also been an increase in activities involving financial advisers who were not registered with SC,” he said.

“Investors need to be aware that investing in a decentralised exchange with no authorisation from the SC is not protected and can be exposed to money laundering and fraud.

“As at Sept 30, SC added 38 operators on its investor alert list for carrying on businesses without a licence. We also directed 29 of these entities and individuals to cease and desist.

Syed Zaid said investors needed to be cautious because these people could be part of market manipulation schemes.

He also said it was vital for those wanting to invest to equip themselves with the right knowledge especially during this time, as the pandemic resulted in unscrupulous people taking advantage of unsuspecting people.

“Despite this being a challenging period, it is never too late to start planning a better financial future for yourselves. You just need to know what to do and the signs to look out for, the main key is preparation,” he said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lydia Nathan’s article appeared in on 8th October 2021.

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Published on: 8th October 2021.