Dear Mr Lim,
I refer to your email dated 11 May 2014 to the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and our tele-conversation on 4 June 2014. As shared earlier, the email has been forwarded to MAS for our response.
We are sorry to hear about you and your wife’s experiences with Cuffz Holdings Pte Ltd and Boss Singapore Pte Ltd. However, as Cuffz Holdings Pte Ltd and Boss Singapore Pte Ltd are neither licensed by nor registered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to provide financial services in Singapore, we are unable to advise on the recovery of funds.
On your feedback that Cuffz Holdings Pte Ltd representatives claimed they were licensed by MAS to carry out such activities, MAS will take appropriate action if there is evidence of a breach of our laws. In this respect, if you have any documents or other written evidence of the above claim by Cuffz Holdings Pte Ltd, please send them to us.
On what types of companies or activities MAS regulates, we wish to share that MAS regulates the financial markets and the activities of financial markets participants, such as banks, insurers, capital market intermediaries, and financial advisors. For offers of investments in particular, MAS seeks to protect investors by setting out the rules for issuers of shares, bonds, unit trusts or other capital market products. However, arrangements which involve acquiring a direct interest in physical assets (as opposed to a securitised interest with the physical assets as underlying) do not fall within MAS’ regulatory framework.
Regardless of whether an entity or an activity is regulated by MAS, it is an offence to operate a fraudulent or deceptive business. In this regard, we understand that you have reported this matter to the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), the principal white-collar crime investigation agency in Singapore, and CAD is in the midst of investigations. As such, we suggest for you to follow-up with the CAD Officer-In-Charge regarding the outcome of the investigations.
Ultimately, the best protection against “get-rich-quick” schemes is still the consumer who takes care and asks the right questions before deciding to part with his money. While an operators’ credentials and past working experiences may help a consumer to assess an operators’ credibility and ability to deliver on its claims and promises, there are other pertinent factors that consumers should consider. To empower consumers, MAS has published a consumer alert on MoneySENSE to highlight 5 key questions that consumers should ask themselves to avoid falling prey to “get-rich-quick” schemes: http://www.moneysense.gov.sg/understanding-financial-products/investments/consumer-alerts/if-it-is-too-good-to-be-true.aspx. ACRA has also published a consumer guide which provides information on how consumers may make use of ACRA’s information services to conduct basic background checks on business entities: http://www.acra.gov.sg/Publications/Guides/ACRA_s_Consumer_Guide/
Thank you for your feedback.
Consumer Issues Division
Monetary Authority of Singapore
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