KUALA LUMPUR – Complaints and enquiries connected to investment scams and unlicensed activities had increased by 25% and 57% over the two pandemic years, said Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) general manager, Jawahar Ali Ameer Ali.
During the ‘Bersama [email protected] 2022’ held in Kuching recently, he said that the SC received 1,857 complaints and 2,193 enquiries in 2021, while in the year 2020, the regulator received 1,482 complaints and 3,464 enquiries.
At the moment, he said that there are no definitive statistics that would explain the rise in numbers although he believes that financial struggles were partly reasons why more people were being trapped by scammers.
He explained that although the SC received complaints and enquiries prior to 2019, the numbers were not as high.
Furthermore, he also noted that the low-interest rates during the period and high social media usage at the time also led to the proliferation of such online scams
Due to that, he acknowledges that being an informed investor is a protected investor, and recommends the general public to increase their financial literacy levels through the series of educational and financial planning workshops on investment held by the SC through the lnvestSmart platform.
Jawahar Ali gave the example of the Agen Bijak Labur Desa (ABJAD) programme that was launched on the InvestSmart platform this year, which aims to the financial and investment knowledge of the rural population, given that people from rural areas are found to be vulnerable based on complaints and inquiries received by the SC.
“Under ABJAD, we were aiming to get secondary school students to become agents of change through educating them about the scams so they will return home to notify their family and friends,” he explained.
He added that there are 14 schools involved in the programme and the SC targets to have at least 12,500 student and teacher participants by the end of the year.
Jawahar Ali stated that the SC intends to be more proactive in teaching the public about the ‘red flags’ of investment scams via its social media channels, such as Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube
Additionally, he advises the public to constantly check the SC’s Investor Alert List to identify unauthorised and unlicensed entities in Malaysia.
lnvestSmart Fest, a larger-scale investor education and exhibition programme, will be held from Oct 14 to 16 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in conjunction with Financial Literacy Month.
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