‘Quick returns’ lure EPF contributors to investment scams

With the high cost of living today, promises on quick profit returns can easily persuade an individual to participate in various investment schemes, including some which are merely scams.

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SEREMBAN- With the high cost of living today, promises on quick profit returns can easily persuade an individual to participate in various investment schemes, including some which are merely scams.

The President of the Malaysian Academic Association Congress (MAAC) Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Idrus Mohd Masirin said the desire to lead a lavish life in the short-term normally led these individuals to frequently withdraw money from their Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

“Most of them are convinced with verbal guarantees by people whom they know that the investment would succeed, and in the event that it doesn’t, the capital would be returned.

“In fact, the lack of knowledge regarding the resources and risks involved in the investment also contributes towards them making bad choices,” he told Bernama.

He said investments made without doing proper research would only cause disappointment and frustration for EPF contributors who withdraw their money for the purpose.

Mohd Idrus suggested that EPF should create a guideline for contributors to identify legitimate investments, thus helping to prevent contributors from being deceived.

“For example, the amount of money which can be withdrawn can be controlled by EPF based on the type of investment the contributor will make, to ensure the welfare of the contributors’ financial savings.

“For example, let’s say one wants to invest in ASB (Amanah Saham Bumiputera), he or she may withdraw a considerable amount, however if it’s to buy shares, the EPF can control the amount to avoid contributors from losing big money, and if they are investments which look dubious, then the EPF may request for confirmation from the relevant party before allowing the withdrawal,” he said.

Mohd Idrus said in general, people in the country were becoming wiser in terms of investing their money, however, sometimes they may not be able to control their impulse to participate in an investment, especially one which promises quick and lucrative returns.

In addition, he said, the lack of exposure by media practitioners in the country on investment scams as well as the abundance of fake information online had also led to individuals making the wrong choices.

“Therefore, people should always be reminded about fraudulent investments, especially internet-based investment especially. The community also needs to be more careful in managing their financial reserves, including for the purpose of investment that will eventually break their big dream.

“I think the initiative to raise awareness among Malaysians on choosing the right type of investment should be included in any programme that encourages investment, as well as the initiative to promote savings for the family’s future,” he said.

He said money lost was difficult to recover, however, the money available could provide relief to one’s family members. -Bernama

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