What is Bank Negara doing about all these get-rich-quick ‘money games’?

69
3696

In these tough times, many have “invested” their hard-earned money in dubious get-rich-quick ‘money games’ or pyramid schemes, which probably carry high risks for those coming in at the tail end of the “game”.

From casual conversations, you can quickly get an idea of the big players in town, especially in a place like Penang.

These schemes may even have their own pseudo-currency of sorts, which participants can use to buy all kinds of stuff, and not just cheap stuff. At least one scheme that I have heard of has probably raked in hundreds of millions of ringgit of “investments”.

This phenomenon is taking place at a time when the ringgit has weakened and people are looking for higher returns – and sometimes falling for questionable “investments”.

Look at how they play on emotions:

How do we protect ordinary people from dubious schemes while allowing genuine investment funds to operate?

The other day, a workman was carrying out some repairs in my home. Out of curiosity I asked him if he had heard of one such scheme. His face lit up, and he replied, “I myself have invested in that!”

Said one observer who has been following the emergence of these “money games”: “It could hit us hard, if these games get too big. Many young people have got involved, made money, have stopped wanting to work for a living. It will be a social problem in the future if one of them was to collapse.”

One such scheme, JJPTR, is reported to be in trouble now. And there is an outpouring of anger on the internet. Check out this online forum. Apparently, they are claiming that the software they use was hacked. Anyway, check out the JJPTR Malaysia Facebook page.

READ MORE:  Najib's Budget 2018

JJPTR was only added to Bank Negara’s list of unauthorised websites and companies on 24 February 2017. (A bit late in the day, no?) So far the list has 288 companies!

Perhaps some might think if political leaders can get rich quick through dubious means, why not the ordinary people try it?

Maybe it is not just greed alone – some of these schemes promise returns of 20 per cent –  but many ordinary people also feeling worried and insecure about the future and desperate to have savings that earn them sufficient returns to cope with the ever-increasing cost of living, removal of subsidies and the bleak economic outlook. These people then become easy prey.

One Penangite shared how such people get hooked by those already in the “game”: “They will tell you they want to share. They have already made a lot of money and they realise you are in a predicament, going through hard times, trying to make ends meet, and your FD is not earning much interest, prices are going up.

“So they’ll say, ‘I understand what you are going through. These are tough times. I already went through the same thing. But now I can manage. I have made enough to quit my job and send my two kids to London. The game worked for me. I made money, this is an easy way to make money.’

“Even if in reality their money is stuck, they won’t say it as they are trying to cash out of the scheme. The gullible ones will fall for such talk.

READ MORE:  A conversation with a waiter in George Town

“Someone I know said he managed to make some some money and cash out of the scheme, but he is not sure about his friend whom he introduced to the scheme.”

Recently, I asked a CEO of a Penang-based company if he or his company would get involved in such schemes. His answer was telling: “No, I prefer to sleep well at night.”

It seems we never learn. Geneva Gold should be still fresh on our minds, even if we may have forgotten earlier dubious schemes. (And then there is the property speculation game. Many have forgotten about the 1998 property slump.)

My question is, are Bank Negara and other regulatory agencies aware of such “money games”? And if so, what is their position on these “games” and new forms of “coins”, crypto-currencies and pseudo-currencies? (Last I heard, only ringgit and sen were legal tender in Malaysia.)

What is Bank Negara doing beyond issuing alerts? Do their alerts include all the big “money game” players?

If they are not aware, I am puzzled – as these “games” and schemes are all the rage in town – and many have “invested” their money, perhaps not fully aware of the risks involved.

If you have any stories about these “money games” or those who have “invested” in them, please share with us.

Please help to support this blog if you can.

Read the commenting guidlelines for this blog.

69 COMMENTS

  1. Polis is now escorting Johnson Lee on JJPTR ‘national tour’ at various Balai Polis/Mahkamah, from KL to George Town to Bukit Mertajam, now in Perak!

    Akan Datang: Live Coin nationwide mahkamah tour?

    • FMT: MonSpace came under scrutiny after the release of Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) updated Financial Consumer Alert list, revealing several companies and websites which the central bank said are not authorised to receive funds in Malaysia.

      MonSpace topped the list of 291 companies.

      Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said that BNM’s list is proof that the company may be involved in illegal investment activities.

      Lim added it was a mystery as to why no legal action has been taken by authorities against MonSpace since its inception in 2014.

      Lim also said the fact that the company was previously not “blacklisted” supports his allegations that some people are protecting MonSpace from any probe.

      “Now, all of sudden, the company is listed as unauthorised, ” he added.

  2. GEORGE TOWN: Authorities from various departments have raided the main office of JJPTR in Perak Road here.

    A team of about 20 officers from the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID), Bank Negara Malaysia and the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) conducted the raid at the office at about noon Friday to investigate the money game company.

    The media has been stopped from entering the premises.

    Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/05/12/authorities-raid-jjptr-head-office-in-penang/#YYedEQ4ur0OKwqsF.99

  3. My car mechanic asked me: “Are you in the money-game?”
    “Why?” I ask back.
    “See these 2 cars (one a Proton, both not Richie cars) which are not claimed back after repairs done.
    B’cos the 2 owners cannot pay for repair costs. All due to losing money or no money back from these money scams. So, pls don’t get yourself burnt in money-game! And these scams “cho-phai chhi-tiau” (affect the local market badly).” mechanic explained.

  4. It was reported by China Press that this‘Teddy’ has (allegedly) transferred out RM300Mil through underground banks in Hong Kong to various accounts including his father… a former lecturer.. ! There again, a tainted so-called – Chinese Educationalist !

  5. The company behind the Penang-based Ponzi scheme JJPTR, which claimed to have lost RM500 million due to hacking, has been revealed to be a “RM2 company” registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).

    JJ Global Sdn Bhd, set up in 2015, had also failed to file its financial accounts with SSM since it was formed, The Star reported today.

    It also reported that JJPTR founder Johnson Lee, 28, was listed as one of two directors, and that his former girlfriend Tan Kai Lee, 24, and him each held a single share in the company.

    A “RM2 company” is a proprietary company with an issued share capital of RM2, with the collective liability of shareholders limited to only RM2.

    “Lee’s father Thean Chye, 58, and Tan are also directors of another company called JJ Global Network Holdings Bhd.

    “SSM records showed that Thean Chye was the largest shareholder, owning 850,000 shares followed by Tan with 150,001 shares while Lee only has one share,” The Star said in its report.

  6. Why are M’sians investing hard-earned money in Ponzi schemes?
    Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/04/28/when-its-too-good-to-be-true/#7RAVfWPCoQmmwQ7x.99

    The prevalence of such schemes has shown is that there is a need for financial education at all levels. While the need of having such education stemmed from dealing with the problem of household debt and bankruptcies, people need to be educated on realistic financial goals as well.
    While greed certainly is the motivation to invest in dubious financial schemes, the public should know that those who profit do so at the expense of many who have lost money in chasing a quick buck.

    Company under the spotlight after investors did not receive payment
    Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/05/01/rm2-firm-that-got-rm500mil-company-under-the-spotlight-after-investors-did-not-receive-payment/#8e0ZoXtiO9koohlH.99

    BUKIT MERTAJAM: The company behind JJPTR, the collapsed money game operator which claims to have lost RM500mil after its accounts were hacked, is a “RM2 company” registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).

    A check by The Star also revealed that JJ Global Network Sdn Bhd, which was set up in 2015, had failed to file its financial accounts with SSM since it was formed.

  7. May Day message from Cuepecs:

    Over 49,000 civil servants might face the risk of bankruptcy following their failure in managing loan arrears. The group of civil servants were found to have applied for personal loans from financial institutions with the repayment amounts beyond their means.

    http://m.thesundaily.my/node/442461

  8. Here’s a short revelation & hard-facts lesson on Not Falling For Scam MLM.
    Not learning from it puts you at your own risk. It just takes a few minutes to digest.

    Earn money the old-fashioned way
    http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/on-the-beat/2017/04/30/earn-money-the-oldfashioned-way-there-is-no-fast-track-to-getting-profits-or-income-nothing-can-repl/

    There is no fast track to getting profits or income. Nothing can replace hard and honest work.

    IT’s now called the money game but it has been around for awhile, only that it was referred to as multi-level marketing (MLM) or pyramid scams.

    There seems to be a resurgence of such scams recently probably due to the economic slow down. While it may be safer to put one’s money in the bank, the reality is that the interest is not that great. It’s the same with unit trust investments.

    So, there’s little surprise that many people are attracted to MLM scams, with its huge returns, although they know there’s always a risk behind these schemes (or scams)….

  9. MCA is advising Chinese how to avoid Money Game with this 3-min video:

    A bit too late after so much damage has been done.

  10. Do you believe the claim that the invested money in the account was hacked?
    This is one plausible scenario:
    Collaborate with a foreign hacker or hackers, give him / them the passwords, let him / them hack (as much as possible). And then claim innocence with this claim of hacking by thieves. No trail to lead to unlike the 1MDB.
    The excuse to chap-lap is never too close to close shop. Then simply say sorry to all investors (with croc’s tears).

    He gets from Poor To Rich the fastest route while you get from Dreaming Rich to Truly Poor the fastest way.
    But Karma is watching him closely, & deals with him faster than our laggard authorities.

  11. According to some experience forex traders, it is impossible to have lost so much (RM500mil) in that faithful day of 19th April by absolutely ALL transaction-deals reporting a huge lost as the Price-Interest-Point(Forex Pip) that day were just too small to make it happened ! Remember in 1992 it took Soros so many plannings to break the Bank of England with only a billion pounds in profits, and now this small kid could simply lost RM500mil in a day ?
    http://www.alphaplay.com.sg/the-fall-of-jjptr/

    • Wee Ka Siong has said that Jack Ma and Bill Gates should visit Malaysia and learn from this smart kid. Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad Poor Dad fame must have inspired this kid to go after Rich Penangites and Poor Penangites, as 1 in 3 Penang Chinese are commoners going for 20% monthly profit!

      • 1 out of 3 Penangites got burnt by get rich scheme.
        So if we put tunglang, zoro and raj666 together, one of them unfortunately kena con.
        Likely one is zoro as he is rather quite this week.

  12. Malaysia, the money game country
    http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/04/27/money-game-country/

    What makes it so difficult to weed out illegal trading activities?

    Other than the Anti-Money Laundering Act, perhaps the Government can look at the Financial Services Act 2013 and the Direct Sales and Anti-Pyramid Scheme Act 1993 when dealing with these illegal syndicates.

    The Government could even consider legislating new laws if the existing ones are insufficient to handle them.

    Thanks to lax enforcement, the money game has sprung up like mushrooms in recent years.

    Bank Negara’s list of “unauthorised and unapproved” companies has jumped from 271 last year to 288 today, many of which involved in illegal forex transactions and gold investment.

    And since we already have their details, why just keep them in the blacklist and take no actions against them? Greed is a universal human nature.

    We can’t expect everyone to have the ability to think logically and make sound judgments.

    Who would want to work hard if they can make money in get-rich-quick schemes? How are we going to transform the country’s economy with so many people engrossed in illegal money game activities?

    Once the scam bursts, the country’s economy will suffer a further blow.

    The money game, therefore, is not something we should conveniently ignore. When your neighbours, friends and relatives begin to join in, our society will no longer be the same any more.

    The fact that such illegal activities have been able to go on unchecked shows that the Government has been lax in enforcing the laws. If we allow such anomalies to go on, a much bigger storm will be in the making, sooner or later.

    • Do not discount the possibility of ‘influential people’ as masterminds behind such money game activities?

  13. Now there are JJPTR’s members lodging police reports and a case is established. For JJPTR is slightly different from pyramid scheme (with no business venture at all). JJ still has mini-markets, restaurants etc. The existing law now is specifically for pyramid scheme. A police report will trigger/make precedent a domino for other schemes also.

  14. The local banks make so much money every year, yet giving so little interest o fixed depositors. No wonder many turn to money games to multiply their money.

    The local banks are adopting FinTech forcing customers to go internet banking for monthly banking and credit card statements, ever since the Syed Mokhtar-post office is charging high postage. Better use Singapore banks like OCBC and UOB to get your printed monthly statement mailed to you.

    • Public Bank makes net profit of RM1.2 billion last quarter. The boss celebrates birthday lavishly yearly, but (allegedly) very stingy towards the staffs and customers.

      • Must maintain minimum Rm50.00 in savings account. That’s how PBank profits daily from this money of many depositors.

    • Please check with Hong Leong – if the monthly average of your savings account is less than RM1000, you will be paid ZERO interest for that month! The banks are taking advantage of poor customers!

      • Anil,
        The banks would not tell you until you ask. Many Malaysians are ignorant about this especially when the bank no longer issue physical passbook for savings account and most people do not bother to check their account status online. There is also surcharge if your monthly average falls below the minimum sum. I have stopped using local banks. CAP should look into this.

    • Also the local banks have made it compulsory for your ATM card to be ‘upgraded’ as a Visa debit card, and charge you annual fees RM8-RM12 (depending on the bank) even if you do not use it as a debit card. Many people fail to realise such annual fee deduction from their account.

      In short, consumers pay RM50 for each credit card and RM8-RM12 for each debit card.

      • Anil uses Public Bank, should now opt for UOB or OCBC that still send monthly financial status foc.
        If Anil has sentimental reason to stick with Public Bank, then go there to print out account statement. Each A4 size paper ~3-5 sen a piece and we should not try to save for that tycoon.

  15. Anyone heard about Questra World? Apparently it promises an attractive ROI. Sounds dodgy to me. Like the old adage, If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

  16. JJPTR Penang office at Perak Road reopened at 1pm today:

    Investors are there to check their investment status.

  17. Lee George

    Asked bnm chief
    He is very smart
    I guess IMDb is also a get rich scheme
    Guess only difference tax payer is going to bear the losses n not the few investors

  18. Bank Negara know, Ministry of Finance know, maybe the PM do not know. Such money game companies are non-regulated “finance” companies that openly violated money-laundering regulations. Funny thing is all the banks know and are losing their FD to these companies. Maybe someone powerful is (allegedly) being paid?

  19. ‘Datuk’ cons Penangites of RM6mil

    GEORGE TOWN: In February last year, Tay Ooi Hong met an impressive 25-year-old, who claimed to be a Datuk with a PhD and have a royal title from Bali. He was convinced to put money into the man’s investment scheme and recruit 107 others.

    The return for the investors started modestly but grew considerably after a few months.

    Earlier this year, the mastermind vanished and his company’s phone lines went dead.

    Now Tay, 34, and the other investors he roped in claim they have lost RM6mil after being duped by the man with the supposed royal title of Puri Agung Negara Djembrana. Negara is the tiny capital of Djembrana, a mountainous province in Bali.

    With their life savings gone, Tay and 20 investors went to Penang Gerakan for help after lodging police reports.

    At a press conference yesterday, Tay said he had first done his research and found that the company was legitimately registered and the mastermind listed as the managing director.

    “The web page said it was appointed to do business in Malaysia by a parent company from New Zealand,” Tay said, adding that he invested RM100,000 before being made a recruiter in Penang.

    He estimated that more than 500 people in the state were tricked and seven recruiters were pulled in.

    Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/04/24/datuk-cons-penangites-of-rm6mil-purported-phd-holder-and-bali-royalty-vanishes-with-victims-life-sav/#Sx3tPRdJx9u73RIz.99

  20. Over 100 lose RM6 million in Penang scam
    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/04/23/over-100-lose-rm6-million-in-penang-scam/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FreeMalaysiaToday+%28FMT+News%29

    GEORGE TOWN: A total of 107 people have claimed to have lost RM6 million to a company here after investing in a scheme offering high returns.
    A representative of the group, Justin Tay Ooi Hong, said the scheme had started about a year ago and none of the investors had received their returns as promised.
    “Among others, we were promised investment returns of up to 40% per month.
    “This company is led by a 25-year-old director,” he told a press conference at the Gerakan office here today.
    Justin said they had trusted and had confidence in the company due to its valid business registration number.
    “Over 500 people have become victims of the scam and there are still many people out there who have yet to lodge a police report,” he said, adding that some of them had made reports at the Jalan Patani police station, Timur Laut, on March 21.
    Penang Commercial CID chief ACP Abdul Ghani Ahmad confirmed receiving the reports.

    Big Q: Did financial authorities like Bank Negara or SSM perform any monitoring of these scam businesses? Or wait until it’s too late the Rakyat are victimised?

    You can jail this 25 yr old director but he may have already laundered his scam money to safe havens for a lifetime of early retirement post jail sentence.

  21. Johnson can say those expert of DOTA games can hack the MT4 fortress, truly Ripley’s believe it or not? Now I go Landscape Gaming Centre to check out if such hacking possible, ha ha ha….

    • Penang Commercial Crimes Investigation Department chief Asst Comm Abdul Ghani Ahmad said no police reports had been lodged against JJPTR so far.

      “It is quite normal for ‘investors’ to wait six months to a year before lodging police reports in the hope of getting back their money.

      “Penangites are always interested in taking part in such investment schemes to make fast money. There are still two or three such scams active locally,” he said.

      JJPTR companies are among the 288 entities and individuals that are on Bank Negara’s Financial Consumer Alert list as of Feb 24. They are neither authorised nor approved under the relevant laws and regulations administered by the central bank.

      • Simple question: If they are not authorised or approved, why are they allowed to operate?

  22. You first get a VIP sponsor for protection. Then, use sales people to claim they got fantastic returns as investors.

    This comes and goes in cycles, with every sucker thinking he is smarter than others. CAP published a table some time ago showing that it is impossible for such schemes to continue beyond level 12 or 13. These criminals are just another species in the vast eco-system of local crime. What do you expect when Ah Long who publish their phone numbers are not arrested immediately?

  23. Return of the King! (in the above Zhang Jian video)
    Sounds like a metaphor of the return of the Saviour (Jesus) – Christians who believe in end-times, beware!
    What a perfect timing of religion marketing of their own created end-times!
    An empathy for those in end-times of financial distress which cry for a Financial Saviour.
    What fools ripe for the scamming!
    Oh yes. I see Yellow – a color of ‘bersih’ – clean, trustworthy, legit.

    Karma is watching closely!

    • Zhang Jian donated RM50K each to many Chinese independent schools in Johor in the last 2 weeks. Of course MCA is put to shame!

    • tunglang be prepared to shaved your head bald and get your wife to dye hair blonde in order to receive RM1000 cash at ‘Return of the King’ event (just pay RM200 per head for the dinner function) featuring Zhang Jian new scheme, to be held soon in Penang.

      • I dare not, will not & not that a fool to partake in such scam.
        B’cos Karma is watching closely & I want a good transition to the next world.

    • Many did not like to invest in mutual fund or unit trust as the banks would screw you upfront 5% commission fees. Thus the ‘Money Games’ could appeal to them more, only difference is getting screwed later.

  24. Looks like nowadays those scammers are much smarter than yesteryear’s old fashioned Pak Man Telo etc. One simple excuse of “Hacker” has covered up and explained all ? MT4 – Forex/stocks soft ware Meta Trader 4 ain’t that easy to hack as it has passed the test of time since 2005 !

    Ah, BTW be a hacker you will be rich…“filthy rich”))))))

    • Actually, MT4 has memory-tracing build-in and not hard to check ALL the activities and “quite” impossible to tamper unless it’s record was fake from the very beginning !
      Just waiting to see the coming imminent domino effect because many of the so-called funds have intertwine “relations”, Bernard Madolf’s style.

  25. You want to make fast + good money? Leverage* your income.

    Leave your passion jobs.
    Forget about talents @ work.
    Join the pyramid schemes, the get-rich-quick schemes, etc – all of which fall in the network marketing.
    And free time to go shopping with your wife & kids (everyday) – this I heard from a zealous health food network marketing friend of mine. Initially, yes. I see the free time at Popular, Gurney Plaza. But now?

    The problem is the means to & distribution of wealth, & the sustainability of financial growth.
    Some of these (or most of these nowadays) are not in the business of selling core products or services, but more into getting new members (the cash injectors), enrich the pioneers ASAP & let the inevitable collapse set in.
    Some seasoned investors may be always on the lookout for such new schemes, join & get-rich-quick, & then cash out knowing that these schemes are not sustainable in the longer run. Then they look out for more coming into the horizon like meerkats. Pity the indiscernible ‘late-comers’ new members who are actually sustaining-cash-injectors when the good times are actually over, good times sold over & over by these con-men in motivational talks (some more like evangelical preach + sing).

    Yes, times are bad. But hold on to your sweat + tears money. It’s your money.

    *Leverage is a general term for any technique to multiply gains and losses. By applying the concept and power of leverage, you can achieve a lot more in both business and life. Without the power of leverage, your rewards are restricted to only the amount of work or energy you, yourself can put into a task.

      • The early adopters of JJPTR in 2015 have enjoyed Hugh return, and recovered their initial investment.

      • Sorry, I am not a Richie, neither do I subscribe to scams or easy money making by leveraging. Just work hard & be proud of myself.
        Sharing & exposing scams doesn’t make one a scammer or profiteer.

    • Popular song in 70s by Jay Jay called Rindu Bayangan, appropriate for those now seeing only the shadows of their RM “invested”.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here