By Doreenn Leong
The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has issued a warning to the investing public on the rise of clone firm scams, where a fraudulent company will set itself up to look like a capital market intermediary that is licensed or registered with the SC to deceive investors.
In a statement today, it said that fraudsters will use names, logos, credentials, websites and other details of a legitimate capital market intermediary to promote bogus investment schemes via social media channels such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter, promising extraordinarily high returns with little risks.
The victims are often instructed to deposit monies into personal bank accounts of individuals who claim to represent a legitimate licensed entity, and/or a corporate account, it said.
SC said a number of capital market licensed entities have lodged reports on the cloning of their corporate identities by unknown persons or organisations.
“Any person who engages in securities fraud or holds himself out as a capital market intermediary or carries out any regulated activities without a valid licence or registration from the SC has committed an offence under the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007.
“If convicted, they may be punished with imprisonment of up to ten years and fined,” said the commission.
The SC reminds investors to always exercise due caution when considering investment opportunities, especially those promising extremely high returns with little or no risks.
“Members of the public who suspect that they have been approached by unauthorised firms or individuals offering investment opportunities may lodge a report with our Consumers and Investors Department at 03-62048999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org,” it added