Monetary Authority Singapore creates "investment scams" to educate investors

Monetary Authority Singapore (MAS), through MoneySENSE, and the Securities Investors Association Singapore (SIAS) have teamed up for a campaign to caution consumers to be alert to investment scams. MAS chairs the Financial Education Steering Committee (FESC), which MoneySENSE falls under.

The campaign runs from April to July 2017 and also aims to raise awareness on how investment scams typically operate. This includes identifying potential investment scams through red flags; and educating consumers on the resources they should refer to.

The agencies behind the campaign are Water’s Edge for creative development and digital/social content.  Meanwhile, Briq handles media planning online and offline.

The campaign will be rolled out in several phases, the first being the experiential Learning Phase, which ran from 2 to 22 April 2017 which saw SIAS conducting two different scams, one involving an island resort “investment scam” and another involving a gold “investment scam”.

The next phase of the campaign is the education phase which runs from 23 April to 22 July 2017. This involves an education website and video, print ads and social media ads and features. Meanwhile, there will be ground outreach through SIAS’ investor education programmes (i.e. seminars, workshops, etc.)

In a conversation with Marketing, a spokesperson shared that initial figures show that more than 22,000 individuals have visited the SantaQuay Resorts (island resort scam) website since 2 April 2017. 1 in 20 of them indicated their interest in the “investment opportunity”.  From 16 to 25 April, close to 6,000 visitors came to the Brilliant Ingots website. About 1 in 10 of them indicated their interest in the “investment opportunity”.

More than 60% of those who visited the websites of the “investments” were males. Overall, majority of the visitors were aged 44 and below.

“We are encouraged by the response to our campaign. Public feedback has been positive and heartening, with some members of the public correctly identifying the red flags of the “investments” and bringing MAS’ attention to these ‘investments’,” a spokesperson for MoneySENSE and SIAS said.

According to the spokesperson, this reflects investors’ awareness of potential investment scams. Promoting informed investing is an ongoing effort, and we will continue to explore compelling financial education initiatives to better reach the public