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

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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.

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.

“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.

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mlm
mlm
16 Sep 2017 3.47am

Another one:
http://behindmlm.com/companies/questra-world/five-winds-questra-world-agam-launch-new-ponzi-scam/

If you were late to the scheme and unable to recover your investment in time, perhaps try to speak to the affiliate who introduced you to the scheme.

Good luck.

capricorn
capricorn
22 May 2017 2.42pm

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?

Midas
Midas
12 May 2017 10.42pm

These 3 operators have just been listed on BNM’s Financial Consumer Alert:

MonSpace (M) Sdn Bhd, Water Beaute World Berhad, Efzinitus Capital Pte Ltd.

http://www.bnm.gov.my/index.php?ch=en_financialconsumeralert

Be warned!

Alvis
Alvis
14 May 2017 1.31pm
Reply to  Midas

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”… Read more »

Sandra
Sandra
17 May 2017 11.38am
Reply to  Alvis

… is a consultant of MonSpace.

capricorn
capricorn
22 May 2017 2.48pm
Reply to  Alvis

Interesting face on Monspace executive team:
http://www.monspacea.com/about/

Jerome
Jerome
12 May 2017 1.02pm

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

tunglang
tunglang
9 May 2017 10.23am

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.

Jerome
Jerome
11 May 2017 12.45pm
Reply to  tunglang

They should approach Gerakan’s Andy Yong who somehow has the ‘connection’ with Johnson Lee to get JJPTR refund.

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/05/11/jjptr-refunds-disabled-investors-founder-returns-capital-of-around-100-people-during-onehour-meeting/

Sandra
Sandra
17 May 2017 11.39am
Reply to  Jerome

Johnson Lee has been arrested. His father should also be questioned.
Police should also study the link (if any) of Andy Yong to JJPTR?

Sonicfish
Sonicfish
2 May 2017 7.45pm

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 !

tunglang
tunglang
9 May 2017 10.29am
Reply to  Sonicfish

We should all be like cats to smell the fishy deals in these money-game of ‘from poor to rich dreams’.
Why not ‘Rich Kid, Rich Dad’ smells fishy?
Suggest our laws be amended to follow the PRC’s deadly punishment (of death penalty) for money frauds, corruptions & stealing from state.

Jerome
Jerome
2 May 2017 5.49pm

Another Money Game operator GMFX (started December last year with promise of 25% monthly return) is said to be collapsing…

http://www.kwongwah.com.my/?p=313179

Sim
Sim
1 May 2017 12.18pm

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… Read more »

tunglang
tunglang
1 May 2017 9.32am

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… Read more »

Jerome
Jerome
30 Apr 2017 4.11pm

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

tunglang
tunglang
30 Apr 2017 11.59am

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… Read more »

Sim
Sim
29 Apr 2017 4.30pm

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.

tunglang
tunglang
29 Apr 2017 10.17am

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… Read more »

Sonicfish
Sonicfish
29 Apr 2017 12.14am

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/

Jerome
Jerome
29 Apr 2017 8.48am
Reply to  Sonicfish

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!

Damien
Damien
29 Apr 2017 11.26am
Reply to  Jerome

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.

tunglang
tunglang
27 Apr 2017 11.47pm

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… Read more »

Jerome
Jerome
28 Apr 2017 11.05am
Reply to  tunglang

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

Sonicfish
Sonicfish
27 Apr 2017 5.48pm

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.

Jerome
Jerome
28 Apr 2017 11.03am
Reply to  Sonicfish

JJPTR office at Butterworth JJ006 has removed it’s signage, merely 4 days after it is set up.
http://www.kwongwah.com.my/?p=311086

Sora Tzen
Sora Tzen
26 Apr 2017 3.49pm

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.

Damien
Damien
26 Apr 2017 9.17pm
Reply to  Sora Tzen

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.

tunglang
tunglang
27 Apr 2017 7.42am
Reply to  Damien

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

Jerome
Jerome
27 Apr 2017 10.24am
Reply to  Sora Tzen

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!

Jerome
Jerome
27 Apr 2017 3.32pm
Reply to  Jerome

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.

Timvis
Timvis
27 Apr 2017 4.38pm
Reply to  Jerome

This is true. Go check your banking statement.

Jerome
Jerome
27 Apr 2017 3.56pm
Reply to  Sora Tzen

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.

Damien
Damien
29 Apr 2017 11.30am
Reply to  Jerome

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.

Jim
Jim
25 Apr 2017 4.27pm

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.

Jerome
Jerome
25 Apr 2017 2.20pm

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

Investors are there to check their investment status.

Abb
Abb
24 Apr 2017 6.07pm

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

Jerome
Jerome
25 Apr 2017 12.06pm
Reply to  Abb

The settlement reached between the IPIC and 1MDB is a fair deal for Abu Dhabi but a very bad deal for Malaysian taxpayers.

Malaysian taxpayers via the Ministry of Finance are now exposed to more than US$6 billion (RM26.4 billion) in payments to IPIC for the financial scandals of 1MDB, where not a single person has been arrested by Malaysian authorities.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2017/04/24/ipic-1mdb-settlement-to-be-borne-by-malaysian-taxpayers/

Khoo Boo Yeang
24 Apr 2017 1.09pm

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?

Jerome
Jerome
24 Apr 2017 11.07am

‘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… Read more »

tunglang
tunglang
24 Apr 2017 8.07am

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… Read more »

Damien
Damien
23 Apr 2017 11.00pm

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….

Jerome
Jerome
25 Apr 2017 12.58pm
Reply to  Damien

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… Read more »

glissantia
glissantia
23 Apr 2017 8.04pm

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?