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Scammed? How to get your money back
Published on: Sunday, January 28, 2024
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VARIOUS scams have been prevalent in Malaysia recently. Despite our prior warnings about common scams in the country, it’s possible that you’ve still fallen victim to one of the sophisticated schemes employed by deceivers.

The JJPTR forex exchange fund, which was recently exposed as an intricate financial scam, led to the arrest of its mastermind. If you’ve suffered significant financial losses due to such scams, you may be wondering about your rights and the avenues available for reclaiming your money. Let’s delve into the details.

The steps you can take to address your situation may vary depending on the specific type of scam you encountered. Financial scams are typically orchestrated to extract as much money as possible before disappearing, making the process of recovering your funds inherently challenging.

Having said that, not every financial scheme is inherently illegal. Take, for instance, an investment fund that pledges a 15% return but ends up with a loss.

While this may render the investment fund unreliable, it doesn’t necessarily make it illegal. In such cases, any losses incurred become the investor’s responsibility, emphasizing the need to comprehend the workings of the investment fund and anticipate potential returns.

On the contrary, an investment fund engaging in deceptive practices by merely shuffling money around constitutes an illegal financial scheme, and reporting it as a crime is warranted.

If the funds can be recovered, you have the right to a full 100% refund, and pursuing damages through legal action is an option, though the decision rests with you. Let’s explore some steps to take if you’ve fallen victim to a scam.

1. Initiate a police report

Should direct confrontation with the perpetrators prove unsuccessful, your subsequent action should involve filing a police report.

This report serves as the primary formal record of the purported fraud perpetrated against you. The success of any subsequent legal measures you pursue to recover your funds hinges on the existence of this police report.

Filing the police report prompts the law enforcement agency to launch an investigation into the scam. Depending on their findings, they may further extend the inquiry to involve additional authorities dealing with financial crime and illicit financial schemes, such as the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID).

2. Submit a report to Bank Negara Malaysia

Following the filing of a police report, consider submitting a report to Bank Negara Malaysia. As the central bank of Malaysia, they actively monitor for any illicit financial schemes targeting individuals. You can submit a report to Bank Negara through their designated channel.

If you’re uncertain about the legitimacy of an investment, you can refer to their list of recognized financial scams in Malaysia.

3. Legal Action

Consider filing a civil case (suing them) if you possess substantial evidence, but the government is unable to pursue a criminal case against the scammers. In a civil case, you can seek damages for any losses incurred; for instance, if you invested RM 25,000, you have the option to sue for that specific amount.

However, it’s crucial to weigh the cost of litigation against potential rewards. The expenses associated with legal proceedings, including lawyer fees and court costs, can accumulate rapidly. Retaining a lawyer may cost around RM80 per hour, and civil cases can be time-consuming.

Before pursuing civil action, carefully evaluate whether the potential costs outweigh the benefits.

Additionally, determining the target of your lawsuit is essential. Should you sue the company or the individuals involved? Suing the company might shield the individuals responsible from damages, and the company could be financially depleted.

Conversely, suing the individuals might pose legal challenges if your direct involvement with them is limited. Consider these factors before proceeding with a civil case.

The recourse available to you heavily depends on the nature of the scam you’ve encountered. If the investment scheme is more misleading than illegal, retrieving your funds may prove challenging. Even if the scam is deemed illegal, the culprits might be elusive.

In cases of illegal schemes amounting to financial fraud, the Commercial Crime Investigation Department may pursue prosecution if sufficient evidence exists. However, the recovery of funds is uncertain, as scammers often disperse money into untraceable accounts or indulge in extravagant expenditures like boats, cars, and jewelry.

Bank Negara offers a watch list for potential investment schemes, and while you can report scams to them, enforcement is typically low, and expecting a refund from Bank Negara may be unrealistic.

The most effective approach is to exercise caution and ensure that your investments are not fraudulent. Avoid falling for schemes promising unrealistically high returns, as such endeavors often lead to unfavorable outcomes.



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