MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



22 May 2024

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

SC: At least RM24.7m may have flowed to clone firm scams


The Securities Commission Malaysia's (SC) investigation into 10 clone firm scams has revealed that at least RM24.7 million may have flowed to several "masterminds" of these scams based on 154 bank statements reviewed.

The findings revealed that the modus operandi of these clone firm scams is to target victims/investors who are willing to part with a small amount of money but with the expectation of making huge returns in a short period of time, a statement from SC said today.

Clone firm scams are generally companies that fraudulently impersonate a legitimate or a licensed entity, including misusing the name and logo of a public listed company, corporate credentials and website, to dupe investors and solicit funds, the SC said.

“Given that most of the victims lost only a small amount of money, many were reluctant to come forward to cooperate with the SC,” the statement said.

The modus operandi typically involves putting out advertisements on social media to lure investors with investment packages guaranteeing high returns and seemingly managed by “licensed intermediaries”, it said.

Apart from that, a large number of “agents” are used to lure potential victims, soliciting investments through WhatsApp once the victims clicked on the link provided.

They then request victims to deposit monies for the “investment schemes” into bank accounts held by mule account holders to layer and launder the illegal proceeds received.

In the course of the investigation, at least 32 mule account holders were identified as facilitating the scam operators, the statement said.

The operators generated a large number of illegal proceeds given a large number of victims, with approximately RM3.6 million flowing through one mule account within six months in one of the scams, the statement added.

Out of 24 victims identified, 15 declined to cooperate with the regulator. The SC is currently reviewing the available evidence and considering various enforcement options.

Investors have to play their role by exercising vigilance and scepticism when evaluating investment opportunities such as checking the legitimacy of individuals or entities who approached them to invest in any investment scheme marketed through social media and WhatsApp chats, the statement said.

Investors are also advised not to deposit money into personal bank accounts of any individuals when requested to do so. Investors should refer to the SC’s Investor Alert List for details on unauthorised websites, investment products, companies and individuals, the statement added.


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