SC advises the public to be cautious about unlicensed activities advertised in newspapers, Internet
|The Securities Commission (SC) would like to warn members of the public about advertisements put up by unlicensed persons, in newspapers and on the Internet, to promote activities related to investment services and products.|
The SC has noted numerous advertisements promoting services related to investment advice, fund management and dealing in securities. These services are regulated under the Securities Industry Act (SIA) 1983, and those offering such services require a licence from the SC.
There are advertisements, which invite the public to subscribe to stock market tips and buy/sell recommendations via short messaging service (“sms”) and through Internet-related communications.
In the example of sms service, subscribers will have to make a payment (between RM1-RM5) for each message received. Stock tips/recommendations are also made available in websites belonging to unlicensed persons or sent directly to investors via e-mail. Investors are advised that such investment-related services provided by unlicensed persons are both illegal and unreliable. Investors should therefore stay away from unlicensed services.
There are also advertisements in newspapers and the Internet, which promote seminars that provide investment recommendations on the local stock market. Investors are cautioned not to rely on investment recommendations made by unlicensed parties.
Yet other advertisements promote seminars related to options trading. Some of these advertisements promise high or guaranteed returns if investors use “proven” strategies on options trading that the seminars organizers promote. Such claims are likely to be misleading as every investment comes with some degree of risks. Investors are reminded to be wary of any claims and promises of high rewards without corresponding risks.
Some seminars also recommend that participants trade in foreign markets via select foreign brokers. The SC would like to stress that recommending foreign brokers may fall within the definition of dealing in securities, and can only be undertaken by licensed dealers. When trading in foreign markets, investors should consider the protection accorded to them by law in these foreign jurisdictions. Investors should also take note that they would be subject to laws and regulations applicable in those foreign jurisdictions.
Members of the public are therefore advised to be cautious when responding to advertisements as described above and to subscribe only to services provided by licensed parties.
Steps for members of the public
The SC also urges the public to report possible unlicensed activities. Investors may report or lodge complaints at: