The Securities Commission Malaysia said it had received 1,800 complaints and enquiries related to investment scams and unlicensed activities in the first nine months of this year.
All of the scams were promoted online through messaging channels such as Telegram and WhatsApp as well as social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
SC chairman Datuk Seri Awang Adek Hussin said the SC has been actively monitoring the internet for suspicious capital market activities and issued warnings to investors through the SC Investor Alert List, which is updated almost daily.
“The porous and open nature of the internet means that we cannot be everywhere to safeguard investors.
“Therefore, the best course of action investors can take to avoid falling prey to investment scams and unlicensed activities is to equip themselves with better financial knowledge,” he said in a statement.
According to the commission, scammers are still rampant and primarily using social media to attract and cheat investors with offers of investment packages or recommendations and claims of unrealistic guaranteed high returns with no risk.
“Malaysians still have a low level of awareness and knowledge of investment and capital market products.
“Malaysian investors have unrealistic expectations about investment returns due to a misconception about risk and returns,” it said, adding that low financial literacy also makes investors vulnerable to unlicensed activities and scams.
Meanwhile, the SC will be holding a three-day investor education fair from Oct 14-16, 2022, to boost financial literacy and help the public protect themselves from investment scammers.