SC warns of rising clone firms scams

PETALING JAYA: The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has warned investors over the rise of clone firms scams, in which a fraudulent company will set itself up to look like a capital market intermediary that is licensed or registered with the regulator to deceive investors.

It highlighted that the 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.

According to the regulator, 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

“A number of capital market licensed entities have lodged reports on the cloning of their corporate identities by unknown persons or organisations,” it said in a statement today.

The SC highlighted that any person who engages in securities fraud, holds himself out as a capital market intermediary or carries out any regulated activities without a valid licence or registration from the SC, commits an offence under the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007 and if convicted, may be punished with imprisonment of up to ten years and fined.

It also reminded investors to always exercise due caution when considering investment opportunities, especially those promising extremely high returns with little or no risks.

The regulator encouraged investors to verify the status of individuals or companies offering investing opportunities via its website.