Issued in collaboration with OCP,MoEA and FICRT, RMA.
BtCIRT has been informed of online investment schemes using instant messaging platforms like Whatsapp and Telegram that are advertised through social media platforms like Facebook. We have found out that many Bhutanese are taking part in them and already a few have even fallen victim to it without getting the promised returns.
We have also been informed that a few Bhutanese accounts are being used to collect the investments. Therefore, the account holders are encouraged to verify with relevant authorities on the legality of such business operations and understand the legal consequences if found to be a scam.
Thus, we would like to urge everyone to be cautious of following such informal channels and making investments or transferring money to unverified accounts or businesses.
Keep in mind the following and don’t fall for such scams:
- Verify the legality of the investment firm
- Check if they have an official website and have it verified for authenticity
- Check if the group is operated by a person/organization with a verifiable identity related to the investment.
- Appraise the location and details of the investment firm (in-country or overseas) and business terms and conditions.
- Ask for their financial service license and country of registration, validate the license by checking with the commission/authority issuing such license in the country of registration.
- Cross-check with the MoEA and the RMA if such investment is legal in Bhutan and verify the license.
- Always be skeptical of any investment. Look out for the signs of investment fraud:
- Promotions that promise high rewards with little or no risks in a very short time.
- Sharing pictures of beneficiaries with fancy cars or bags of money, screenshots of successful transactions, etc, as proof of high returns and beneficiaries. Don’t be fooled by the supposed claims. The testimonials can be made up.
- ‘Investment Opportunity’, ‘Online Bitcoin Investment Opportunity’, ‘Get-rich-quick’, ‘high rewards’, ‘Financial Freedom’, are the catchphrases used to lure unsuspecting victims.
- Never take part in Ponzi Investment (remuneration provided for adding more investors) and beware of such investment schemes. They may lure you with early returns in options trade and ask you to send more to earn more but it is not sustainable and will eventually collapse resulting in huge losses for those involved.
- Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country. It is hard to verify and track down individuals/companies out of our jurisdiction.
- Remember that any financial decision must be made carefully; after much thought, research, and verification with relevant agencies/authorities. Once you get scammed there is little anyone can do to recover your losses.
- Don’t share your personal information; if they ask for your name, passport details, bank account numbers, credit card number, etc. be extremely cautious.
If you have already transferred the amount or if you are a victim, report it to the BtCIRT(firstname.lastname@example.org), Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) and the respective banks through their toll free numbers as soon as possible.
For more information on the various investment frauds doing the rounds in the internet and tips to avoid them, check the following resources: