Look out for investment scams! 3 ways to make sure the investment firm is legit 

The news of the JPEX incident has spread like wildfire across the city, causing public concern over the risks associated with unlicensed financial companies. In addition to the crypto industry, the police have also recently identified 7 high-risk investment apps on their anti-scam website, “CyberDefender”. 

As online investments continue to gain momentum in today’s age, it’s inevitable that fraudulent and unlicensed investment companies will take advantage of this trend. That’s why before investing through any company or app, you should always do some background check to avoid falling into investment traps and scams.

Verify through the government’s website

First off, the simplest way to protect yourself from investment frauds is to check the firm’s license through the government’s website. All you have to do is visit SFC’s Public Register of Licensed Persons and Registered Institutions, and type in the company name to see if the company is licensed.

On the website, investors can check if the company holds an active license under the “Securities and Futures Ordinance” or the “Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance”. Once you’ve found the company, you can further investigate if their website’s links, web design, and content hold up. Investors can even reach out to the company through email or phone with the information provided in SFC’s record, to avoid becoming a victim of fraudsters who falsely claim to be licensed.

Meanwhile, the website also features an Alert List of unlicensed companies which have caught the attention of the SFC. If the company you’re searching for is listed on the website, you must stay alert and refrain from investing with them.

Refer to other trustworthy resources

Apart from the SFC website, there is another widely-used source that investors often use for checking the legitimacy of a company: Webb-site. Established by renowned independent stock commentator David Webb in 1998, this website provides independent opinions on a wide range of topics of Hong Kong including economy, business, finance, investment, law, and regulatory affairs. It also serves as a comprehensive database containing a wealth of information on companies, organizations, and their members.

Investors can type in the company’s name on the website and look for the business registration number to check if the firm holds a valid license. Some investors will even use this website to access CCASS data and gather some insider information about the company, including its background, members, and the stakeholders behind the scenes.

About Syfe

In fact, even though scammers have endless tricks up their sleeves, their principals always remain the same: exploiting investors’ desire for high returns. But there are no risk-free investments in the world, and you should never unconditionally trust or rely on someone’s recommendations. Instead, you should always take the initiative to verify the source of information and its reliability.

Take the image below for example, if you go to SFC’s Public Register of Licensed Persons and Registered Institutions, and type in “Syfe”, you can see the CE number ‘BRQ741’, along with our main business address and the official SFO license. If you click on the name, you can also see the regulated activities including Dealing in Securities, Advising on Securities, and Asset Management.

The information or advertisement contained herein does not constitute an offer, any solicitation, invitation or recommendation to engage in any investment activities. Investors should consider his/her own circumstances.