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No free lunch

  • We must work hard to get our money; greed will only lead us to total financial disaster.

Sin Chew Daily

It seems that money game is too tough to be completely eradicated, and is continuing to plague many Malaysians in all shapes and forms. Before one is busted by the police, another is quietly sprouting up somewhere.

Such syndicates have been able to survive and thrive thanks to the greed of people who obviously fail to take heed of the painful lessons learned by those before them.

Police statistics show that money game investments are becoming increasingly rampant in recent years. The police have taken actions against 13 companies so far this year while files have been opened to probe another 30 for alleged money game activities.

As many as 336,000 people have fallen prey to these 13 companies, and have lost a total of RM2 billion to them. As for the 30 companies under police investigation, 974,000 innocent investors have lost a total of RM3.8 billion!

These money game scams have come in all shapes and forms. From media reports we can see that they have offered some early benefits to the uninitiated investors, enticing them to dump more money into the schemes. The same model has been repeatedly employed over and again.

Despite the numerous media reports cautioning members of the public of their dangers, there are still plenty who are willing to throw themselves into the trap and have their hard earned money squeezed dry by the scammers.

In the past such scams worked by the mouth of people or trying to win the confidence of investors in the guise of an authoritative institution such as a cooperative. But with the ultra convenience of Internet today, information can spread way faster than in the olden days. As a result, these investment schemes have ballooned in size and are far more sophisticated and harder to rein in.

Money game investment information is like fake news that fools people into believing its authenticity, making it very difficult for them to tell the truth from the lies.

Blinded by the alluring promises, they lose their rational thinking and under the influences of their own greed, they willingly tap the keys and surrender their hard earned money to complete strangers. In view of the fact that almost everyone now owns a smartphone, the spread of lies is all the easier now than ever.

Among the "investors" are housewives looking for small profits and salaried workers eager to strike rich overnight. Many of them are well educated middle class completely overwhelmed by the lure of snowballing wealth.

Actions by the enforcement authorities upon receiving public complaints will not solve the problem completely. Although these scams have done immense damages to the society and economy, many are still unable to resist the temptation.

Greed and Internet have conspired together to fatten money game companies. According to the police, more than 20,000 complaints have been lodged by the public during the first 11 months of this year, involving a sum in excess of RM1.4 billion.

Multinational syndicates, in particular, have been experts in cheating their victims by using Internet phones, including a Macau-based syndicate recently busted by the Malaysian and Chinese authorities.

It is imperative that the authorities harness the Internet to enhance public awareness and make the best of sophisticated technology to crush the scams in order to stop more people from falling prey to their evil designs.

We must know that there is no free lunch under the sun. We must work hard to get our money and greed will only lead us to total financial disaster.



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