If people promise us easy money, we should have to be very cautious. What is it about? How is it possible? Why is it so? Don't be a victim of fraud.
Just a few weeks ago, a client told me how he was given some physical gold for investing some money in a company. Apparently, the gold given to him was worth some 60% of the money he invested. In case the company went belly up, a new investor would only lose 40% of his capital.
The promised annual return was some 25% of the initial sum he invested, if I remember correctly. So, after holding for two years, an investor would be "safe" even if the company were to close down.
The person who got him involved in this "investment" was with him at the time and tried to get me to join them. After all, a consistent 25% annual return is a mind-boggling feat! Needless to say, I declined. Yup, I declined. It sounds too good to be true and probably is. This could be another OilPods or The Gold Label Pte. Ltd.
About OilPods: "More than 2,000 investors, mostly Singaporeans, were victims of this multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme, which involved purported investments in oil and gas. They were paid even before the oil was extracted, with existing investors receiving dividends from subscriptions of new investors." (The Business Times, 4 April 2012)
Another example of fraud has to do with land banking. In June 2010, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a warning on Land Banking plots schemes warning they may be a scam with specific focus on companies offering land from the UK and Canada. (Source: Wikipedia)
A multi level marketing company, Sunshine Empire, was also in the news. The company had gathered up to S$189 million in funds through investment schemes, alleged to have never materialised and in fact a Ponzi scheme. Initial trial revealed that over S$115m were paid out as 'investment returns', while another S$40m were transferred to associates as 'interest free loans' and the remaining believed to have been expended or paid out to directors as fees. (Source: Wikipedia)
Unfortunately, there will always be people who would join the party. I dare say that a vast majority of the population is probably naive enough to believe in such "investments".
Money is hard to make and my heart always goes out to victims of fraud. Often, they are quite naive but hard working common people who just want a better return on their hard earned money.
I still remember how a female clerk in her 50s sent all her life savings of S$20,000, which, to her, was a princely sum, to an offshore investment firm after receiving a cold call promising her higher returns. She cried buckets later on.
Fraud: In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual. (Source: Wikipedia)
Yes, it is a crime!
Fraudsters should be put behind bars for life!