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Many of us fall prey to financial scams which can result in huge losses. Operators of these scams normally entice potential victims with high returns and convince you to invest your hard earned money which you will eventually lose in the end. These operators are constantly reinventing old scams to avoid getting caught. Therefore, it is best to be very cautious and aware of any deal that sounds too good to be true.

Be aware of the following financial scams:
 
 
Related Information

Learn how to invest your money smartly

Protect my PC while doing internet banking

Learn how to make a banking complaint
 
What Else Can I Do?

Read our FAQs on foreign currency trading

Download the booklet on foreign currency trading

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Foreign currency trading involves the activity of investing large sums of money in foreign currency with the objective of getting high returns depending on the movements of the exchange rates.If you are asked to invest in foreign currency by parties other than authorised dealers, it is most likely a scam!
 
 
 
Illegal operators usually target job seekers and investors who are looking to make a quick buck for the investments. Here are some indications to look out for:
 
Placement of attractive advertisements to lure others to listen to their convincing but bogus marketing plan
   
Have their headquarters overseas with impressive offices and IT facilities
   

Conduct training to prospective employees on the principles of foreign exchange trading and hands on exercises using dummy or fake transactions under an environment controlled by the operator.
   

Hire employees based on commission without a proper employment letter or contract stipulating employment terms and conditions
 
 
By impressing them with a marketing strategy that promises quick and high returns
   
By portraying a professional and reputable image
   
Allowing potential investors to operate their trading account via internet
   

Using elaborate tools of the trade such as a news screen showing movements in exchange rates to give that professional and legitimate business look.
   

The operator will ask you to enter into an official agreement which will be sent to their overseas based headquarters where it is usually left unsigned.
 
 
Stay away from opportunities that sound too good to be true
Avoid any company that predicts or guarantees large profits
Be wary of remitting cash on the Internet or by mail
Be sure to get the company’s performance track record
Ask questions and do not commit immediately
 
 
If you have been offered a job to look for potential investors or have been approached to invest in the foreign currency market from a company, you can lodge a report at the following address:
 
FOREIGN EXCHANGE ADMINISTRATION
DEPARTMENT

Bank Negara Malaysia
Jalan Dato’ Onn, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Contact:1300-88-LINK
 
 
  Download
here
For more information on foreign currency trading, download the booklet or visit our FAQs on Foreign Currency Trading.
 
 
 
 
 
Similar to get-rich-quick schemes, internet investment schemes lure unsuspecting victims to make online investments or receive investment advice online through websites or email. Operators of these schemes do not have the proper licenses to receive deposits from Bank Negara Malaysia or from the relevant authorities such as the Securities Commission to provide advice related to fund management, securities and futures. Generally these schemes offer investment opportunities with above market rate of return and zero or too low risk.
 
 
 
You may lose all of your money when the operator flees
You have no protection from the law against these operators
 
 
You can ascertained the licensing status of companies engaged in deposit-taking activities from Bank Negara Malaysia and for licensing status of companies engaged in investment activity from Securities Commission
 
 
Be more alert and responsible when making investment decisions
Only place deposits or make investments with financial institutions or agencies licensed by the authorities
Verify the legitimacy of schemes with the authorities and obtain all information about the company before parting with your money
Alert the authorities immediately if you come across a suspicious website, email or any information relating to investment advice and services to:
 
BANK NEGARA MALAYSIA
 
Tel :          1300-88-LINK
Fax :          03-2174 1515
E-mail :          bnmtelelink@bnm.gov.my
 
 
COMPLAINTS DEPARTMENT, SECURITIES COMMISSION
 
Tel :          03-6204 8999 / 03-6204 8777
Fax :          03-6204 8991
E-mail :          aduan@seccom.com.my
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Illegal deposit taking (IDT) or better known to Malaysians as "get-rich-quick" schemes promise potential victims high interests or profits on deposits placed with the operators of these schemes. These operators are not authorised to collect deposits. You may receive the “promised return" initially as these operators are paying you from money collected from other unsuspecting depositors whom have been lured into the scheme as well.

However, there is no assurance that these operators can continue to to pay the high returns, resulting in these schemes eventually collapsing and depositors will lose their money.
 
 
 
You can be charged for abetting in IDT activity under the Banking and Financial Insitutions Act 1989 (BAFIA)

You can cause burden and grief to yourself and your family should you decide to use up your life savings. Some victims make Amanah Saham Bumiputera withdrawals or take up bank loans just for the promise of getting rich quick.
 
 
IDT operators may be individuals, partnerships or even companies with certified registrations. However such persons may not be authorised to collect any form of deposits.

Here are some features of IDT which you should be aware of to help you avoid from being a victim:
 
The operator has no valid licence under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989 (BAFIA) to collect deposits
The operator promises to pay within a short period high returns or profits which are normally higher than the rates offered by licenced financial institutions.
The operators offer other forms of payment besides cash. For example, part of the returns may be paid in kind in the form of coupons, jewellery, or electrical goods.
 
 
These schemes will continue to operate as long as members of the public participate in them. As a mature consumer, you have a responsibility to safeguard your money when it comes to managing and investing it. Do not be easily blinded or fooled by operators of these schemes because at the end of the day, you stand to lose everything if you are not careful.

If you have any queries on IDT or suspect any IDT or get-rich-quick scheme in operation, you can mail your query to:
 
BANK NEGARA MALAYSIA
Unit Penyiasatan Khas
Jalan Dato’ Onn, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
 
Or via the following:
Email :           bnmtelelink@bnm.gov.my
Telephone :           1300-88-LINK
Fax :           03-2174 1515
 
 
 
 
 
Internet and mobile based scams are a growing trend used by unsuspicious operators to defraud the public. These scams usually entice unsuspecting victims with valuable rewards in order to attain their personal information such as account and identification numbers.
 
 
 
Cases of SMS fraud are currently on the rise. If you have received an SMS on your mobile phone which promises expensive cash prizes on condition that you immediately call the number given in the SMS, chances are you may have just received a fraudulent SMS.

Do not be fooled by these messages as this scam will ask for your personal account number and pin numbers on the pretence that the cash prize will be deposited into your account electronically.

If you respond to the message, the operators of this scam will access your bank account and your savings can be depleted in a matter of a few seconds.
 
 
Phishing (pronounced "Fishing") is the fastest rising online crime method used for stealing personal finances and perpetrating identity theft. In order to lure victims, phishing scam operators use fraud emails and websites that look exactly like well-known and trusted brands of commercial banks, credit card companies or e-commerce online shopping sites. Some examples of phishing scams include:
 

Fake email messages from a company you’re used to doing business with, asking for your account verification or your account may be suspended
Fake charities asking for money

Fake online sales transactions
 
 
How to prevent yourself from being a victim of a phishing scam
 
Never reply to email messages that request your personal information
Don’t click links in suspicious links
Use strong passwords and and change them frequently
Don’t send personal information in regular email messages
Do business with companies you know and trust
Make sure the website uses encryption
Take safety measures to protect your PC
Monitor your online transactions
 
 
 
 
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