Dubious business entities commonly use a range of tactics to entice unsuspecting members of public to invest money with them or purchase goods and services from them. These tactics usually involve exerting unfair pressure on potential investors and consumers. You should exercise caution in interacting with these business entities if you encounter the following common tactics:

Unsolicited calls

Be cautious when you receive unsolicited calls, messages or correspondence inviting you to invest with a business entity, especially if you did not give your name or contact information to that entity. You should always safeguard your personal and confidential information and documents to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.

Offers to resolve business problems

You may be having some problems with business entity A, and business entity B contacts you with promises to help you resolve these problems with entity A. When confronted with such a situation, it is best not to deal with business entity B before checking on its credibility. Exercise caution before accepting any offer of assistance, especially when it is unsolicited.

Unrealistic investment opportunities

Exercise caution if you are promised large returns for investing with a business entity. This may be a method of arousing your interest. You should perform background checks on the entity; obtain more information and independent advice about the investment before making any decisions.

Substantial investment for future goods and services

You should be cautious if asked to invest a large sum of money in return for future goods or services, to be provided by a business entity whose business track record you are unclear of, or have no dealings with. Do not be rushed or pressured into making financial decisions with a business entity before you have done some background checks on it.
Please click here for some scenarios in which such tactics are commonly used.

How to distinguish between business correspondences and official government correspondences

Unscrupulous organisations may try to pass themselves off as government entities in the business correspondences they send out. Follow these guidelines to distinguish between business correspondences and official government correspondences:

  • Letters from government agencies have distinct letterheads, with the agencies' name and logo.
  • Companies and other business entities are required to state their name and registration number in all business correspondences. Those that breach this requirement are liable for a maximum fine of $1,000.
  • When in doubt, members of public should contact the respective government agency. 
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