If it's too good to be true...

Government agencies like the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the police Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) have cautioned the public about the risks behind some investment schemes.

If an investment sounds too good to be true - meaning it claims to yield high returns in a short time - then it probably is.

Potential investors should check the legitimacy of the company offering the investment programme.

MAS recommends investing your money with MAS-regulated financial entities.

An investor will not have the protection "afforded under the regulatory framework administered by MAS" when dealing with unregulated financial services. Getting assistance could be difficult particularly if the operator is based overseas.


Some common unregulated financial schemes mentioned on the MAS website include virtual currencies, overseas property schemes and gold "buy-back" offers.

The website also states the risks related to some financial products and maintains an "investor alert list" of unregulated investment companies.

In April 2013, there were 162 such companies on the list. Today, there are 182.

The CAD warns the public to be alert of various scams that target Singaporeans.

Investment scams such as high-yield investment programmes, illegal pyramid selling and Ponzi schemes are detailed on its website, along with how the scams work.