SINGAPORE: A concerned son recently took to social media to share that his parents invested millions with a financial agent a few years back, and now they “can’t get it back.” Desperate to resolve this alarming problem, he sought advice from his fellow Singaporeans on Reddit.
“Is there anything at all I can do to get this money back so my parents can finally retire in their late 60s? Any advice is appreciated, as I can’t bear to see him [financial agent] continually lying to my parents. Thank you.” u/YogurtclosetBig5019 wrote on subreddit r/SingaporeRaw on Thursday (Jan 25).
He stated that this agent gained the trust of his parents despite the fact that there is no ‘black and white’ for his investments. Extremely skeptical of the agent’s ways, he and his siblings even told their parents that the man was not trustworthy, and even if they do decide to go through it, it should at least be done through legal and proper means. However, the parents didn’t heed their children’s advice.
Their suspicion only grew bigger when, a few weeks ago, their parents tried to withdraw their investments but couldn’t.
“As their business is struggling, they need the cash, but this FA said that it’s not a good time to pull out their investments as they’re in the red. I know it’s stupid to allow someone, without any legal backing, to ‘help you invest’,” the son shared.
At this point, they now suspected that the agent had been investing in penny stocks and had lost a huge chunk of his parents’ money.
“I’m urging my parents to pull out, but this FA keeps delaying. I won’t be surprised if it’s not even in SG (as he has a vietnam wife – very sus i know),” he added.
S’porean Redditors: “Even if they are in red, the FA should at least provide an update.”
In the comments section, one user said that even if his parents’ investment were in the ‘red’, the FA should have at least ensured them that the money was in their name and provided them an update, adding, “Technically, unless otherwise authorized by your parents, the FA should not be able to undertake trading activities for and on behalf of your parents. Not having black and white is troubling. They need to take immediate actions, such as going to the police immediately as it can be fraud.”
One user also stated that if there was no black and white in the first place, then his parents’ money is probably gone. This is because, had the agent been a legitimate financial advisor, he could have shown his parents “what was invested and how much you can get back (at a great loss even. Think getting 1 cent back for every dollar invested).”
The user also added that “if the money was never invested, it’s called investment scam.”
Another also shared advice, writing, “Keep receipts (e.g. screenshots), make police reports, and check with professional bodies that regulate activities of FAs.”
How to Report Investment Scams
The following procedures can be used to report an investment scam in Singapore:
To report the investment scam, get in touch with the Singapore Police Force. You can accomplish this by going in person to the local police station or by submitting an online police report via the official police website (https://www.police.gov.sg/iwitness). You may also call their police hotline: 1800-255-0000.
Contact the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD). This department particularly investigates commercial and financial crimes, like investment scams. You can report the scam to the CAD by sending them information about it along with any supporting documentation you may have. You can reach them by phone at 1800-3250000, or you can stop by their department in person.
Share your story on the Scam Alert website. You can also share your experience on the Scam Alert website to help spread the word about the scam and increase awareness. Additionally, you can reach them by calling the 1800-722-6688 Anti-Scam Helpline.