There is a wide range of products and schemes, both in Singapore and globally, that claim to offer consumers potential profits. Some of these are offered and traded in markets or by firms that are regulated. But, there are others that are not regulated by financial sector regulators like MAS.
Deal with regulated persons if you are seeking financial services
Consumers seeking financial services are strongly encouraged to deal only with persons that are regulated by MAS. MAS' regulatory regime aims at safeguarding the interests of consumers by ensuring that only competent and professional persons may provide financial services. The laws administered by MAS also require disclosure of information on investment products being recommended to consumers.
Click here to find out what you can do to check if the party you intend to deal with is authorised by MAS.
Pitfalls of dealing with unregulated entities or schemes
If a consumer chooses to participate in schemes that are not regulated by MAS, he will not have the protection afforded under the regulatory framework administered by MAS, particularly if the operators are based overseas. If he has a complaint against an unregulated entity, he will also not be able to approach the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre (FIDReC) for assistance. And if an operator is based overseas, it could be even harder for the consumer to pursue the matter.
It is very important that consumers check the legitimacy of such schemes, rather than just focusing on the offered returns, particularly where the scheme promises returns are much higher than the returns offered by established investment schemes/products regulated by MAS. If something is too good to be true, it probably is.
When consumers put their money into such unregulated schemes, they do so at their own risk.
Read more in the consumer alerts below:
Common unregulated schemes
Below are weblinks to information on some unregulated schemes and key risks consumers should watch for. This list is not exhaustive. It is updated from time to time, based on information received by MAS.
You may have heard of virtual currencies. If you are wondering what they are and how they work, read this article to find out the features and risks involved in virtual currency schemes.
Overseas Property and Crop Schemes
Received an offer to invest in trees, crop plots or plantations? Consider carefully before deciding whether to place your money in these schemes. Click here to read an article by the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority.
Online Trading Platforms / Forex Trading Classes / Software
Enrichment classes: Gain a new skill, enjoy new riches? Think again!
You may have caught attractive ads on forex or other trading seminars in the media. They sometimes come with amazing success stories: the chance to retire early, earn extra income or make some money after years as a home-maker are appealing. But there have been mixed reviews of these seminars. Some investors have also lost money trading, on top of paying out hefty course fees. Click here to learn more about what forex trading is about and key things to think about before parting with your money.
Unregulated online trading platforms
‘Get up to 85% profit in just 60 seconds!’, ‘make 81% profit in just quarter of an hour!’, ‘make money 24/7, wherever you are!’ Find these catchy phrases attractive? Think again.
Consumers who place their money with unregulated online trading platforms, some of them offering exceptionally high returns, forego the protection afforded under the regulatory framework administered by MAS. These investors, when faced with problems from these unregulated entities such as having their funds transferred to other entities, not being able to close their accounts or difficulties in having their capital returned to them, will not be able to rely on MAS regulations to safeguard their interests.
To find out more on the risks of trading on unregulated online trading platforms and forex trading , click here.
Look before you leap – pitfalls of dealing with unregulated entities
We sometimes come across investment seminars or schemes that claim to offer high returns, at low risks. These look very attractive. But what are the risks? Click here to find out more about the pitfalls of dealing with unregulated entities!
Gold “buy-back” offers