Page 48 - SC SCAR 2023 ENGLISH Flipbook
P. 48

                                 PART 2 REGULATORY PERFORMANCE AND OUTCOMES
In most of these scams the perpetrators used fake websites, social media pages and mule bank accounts to promote and carry out their illegal activities. In many of these cases too, scammers falsely lend credence and legitimacy to their illegal activity by misusing the name of agencies such as the SC, BNM, the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM), licensed intermediaries and images of local celebrities and religious leaders. Many of these schemes also falsely claimed to be Shariah compliant to appeal to the sentiment of the Muslim investors.
A common trait noted was the prevalent use of mule bank accounts by scammers. A potential victim will be required to bank in monies into such a mule bank account, and immediately after a deposit is made, the victim will be notified that their investment has made a ‘profit‘. However, should one decide to withdraw the ‘profits’, the victims will be asked to make further payments disguised as BNM charges, income tax charges, administrative fees, upfront deposits, etc. These payments will typically be asked to be made into a different mule bank account.
In 2023, the use of social media platforms, particularly Facebook and Telegram, continued to be the primary mode for perpetrators to carry out their illegal activities. New modus observed in 2023, is the use of e-wallet and cryptocurrency as the mode of payment involving investment scams, as compared to mule bank accounts which were used previously. This may be designed to avoid easy detection and prompt interventions by the enforcement agencies.
In cognisance of the perpetrators evolving tactics, the SC continues to undertake ongoing monitoring and supervision to mitigate the risk of its regulated entities being potentially used as conduits for illicit activities.
The SC also observed the evolution of the common job and love scams which now have elements of investment scams as well.
Emerging Scam Trends
The SC continuously monitors and is cognisant of new emerging trends and MO on scams to ensure that appropriate and timely intervention is taken on investment scams. In this regard the following new trends were observed.
 Example of Investment Scams Involving Cryptocurrency
The scam is generally offered through social media platforms (mainly Facebook) with an investment opportunity in cryptocurrency promising high returns over a short span of time. Interested clients are directed to open an account with the SC’s registered DAX operator and purchase cryptocurrency. Subsequently the cryptocurrency is transferred to a wallet address controlled by the perpetrator. The victim never receives the promised returns and will be asked to make further payments in the form of cryptocurrency, to withdraw the initial investment.
By requesting the victims to transact through the SC’s registered DAX operator, the perpetrators have falsely given the victim an impression of legitimacy of the scheme.

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