Before you commit to an investment, always ASK, CHECK and CONFIRM
ASK more questions
Knowing the tell-tale signs, such as promises of guaranteed high returns at very low risk, helps you spot investment scams.
ASK the company as many questions as you need to fully understand the investment opportunity.
If the company is unable to, or avoids answering any of your questions, be wary. Even if the company is able to provide answers, do not be too quick to believe everything you are told. Be sure to CHECK.
CHECK the Company Background
CHECK on the company, its owners, directors and management members, and the investment opportunity.
Doing so will help you to assess if the investment opportunity is genuine.
- Check if the information provided by the company about itself is true. For example, its address or track record (if any).
- Check if the information (i.e. experience, qualifications) provided by the owners, directors and management members about themselves is true.
- Check if there are any complaints or negative comments made about the company, its owners, directors and management members, and the investment opportunity, whether in the news or on online forums.
Ask someone you trust to help you with your checks if necessary.
CONFIRM the company and investment scheme with authority
Even if you do not find any information that suggests that the investment opportunity is dubious, you should still CONFIRM.
CONFIRM, before investing, the company’s and any representatives’ credentials by using available resources including the following:
- Financial Institutions Directory – a list of persons regulated by MAS
- Register of Representatives – a list of individuals who conduct activities regulated by MAS
- Investor Alert List – a list of persons unregulated by MAS who
may have been wrongly perceived as being licensed or
authorised by MAS
Remember, if the investment opportunity sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
I have been self-learning Forex trading for quite some time, and felt that I could improve my skills by learning from experienced trainers. Recently, there are many Ads popping up on my Facebook about learning Forex. They seem very professional and promising, thus I decided to go for some of their showcase / previews.
US Property Investment Scam
The seminars I attended aggressively positioned the XYZ investment as a low-risk investment, backed by real assets and there are checks and balances provided by the appointed XYZ Agent and the Trustee.
I received a telephone call around mid 2011 from a wine broker from a wine company . He had got my personal details from one of the seminars I attended.
Around mid 2012 I received a telephone call from an art broker. The broker showed me impressive marketing material, that caught my interest. The Director and Founder, Mr. A***** represented their company providing an end to end broker service and a rental program where artworks are rented to corporate companies for 12% and investors will get 6%. It was represented that investors could expect capital appreciation of about 12%-15% per annum I bought several artworks and started receiving rental income and was happy.
However into the second year phone calls were not answered and emails got no response. I received an email that the company was undergoing restructuring. Some of us did not get the artworks although we paid for them.
The rental income stopped and the company was shut down with no proper explanation, except financial difficulties. The artworks have dropped significantly in value, only a fraction of what was paid for. Some persisted and tried to contact the overseas office by sending lawyer’s letters (eg they would be charged exorbitant storage fees for their remaining artworks; threatened to be sued for libel and harassment, and legal costs) but was informed that the overseas office was not affiliated to the Singapore office.
I learnt that if something is too good to be true it probably is.
The brokers are very smooth before they get your money, after they get your money it is a totally different story. It is important to do detailed background checks and reviews of the company and their directors. I have been badly burnt and hope that my nightmare experience can be a cautionary story to others.