Beware of investment scams on Telegram

MALAYSIA has seen a spike in investment scams on the Telegram Messenger application. With more than 700 million active users, the platform has become a favourite among scammers and hackers to lure unsuspecting users.

Earlier this week, a Form Six student lost RM22,300 after he was scammed through a fake investment scheme via the Telegram app.

A few days ago, Communications and Digital Minister, Fahmi Fadzil, via Twitter, urged people to be wary of fraud-related activities on messaging apps as the number of cases is increasing. He advised people who have been added to these groups to immediately contact the police.


Investment scam perpetrators often go by many different names. They may also pass themselves off as authorised capital market intermediaries by misusing names, logos, credentials, websites and other identifying information.

The Securities Commission issued a warning about the sharp increase in investment scams promoted on Telegram last year, including schemes offering fictitious investment opportunities that are risk-free with unrealistic returns in a short period.

To lure victims, scammers set up a public group on Telegram to advertise investment packages, frequently accompanied by false testimonials.

Last November, Iskandar Investment Bhd alerted the public to a scam on the platform where someone poses as its representative and promotes fake investment opportunities.

The Securities Commission urges the public to consult its Investor Alert List before investing and to file a complaint with its Consumers and Investors Department at 03-6204 8999 or via email at [email protected] if they feel they have fallen victim to investment fraud.


If someone you know messages you and asks for a loan, they could be a victim of fraud as well.

When it comes to data transfer and secure communication, Telegram promises security. However, the company says it cannot shield you from anyone else who gains access to your Telegram-hosting devices or who has root access (a user account used for system administration) to the device.

The Dubai-based messenger app provides tips on how to protect yourself if you discover that someone else has gained access to your account.


The app’s user identification system relies solely on phone numbers, so whoever has the phone number also has the account. But if you can access Telegram on any of your devices or you have the phone number, do this:

1. Go to Telegram Settings > Privacy and Security and turn on Two-Step Verification. This way, the phone number alone will not be enough to log in to your account.

2. After that, end your Telegram session on other devices by going to Settings > Devices (or Privacy & Security > Active Sessions).

3. Since the person who has access to your account doesn’t have your password, they won’t be able to log in again.

4. After that, call your service provider and ask them to cancel your SIM card and issue you a new one. This way, you can sign back into Telegram.


The login code may be sent to you via Telegram rather than SMS if you recently used the app on another device.

Receiving codes via an updated phone number is preferred over receiving them via Telegram. Make sure Telegram is always connected to a phone number you own or you run the risk of losing access to your account for good.

It is easier for an attacker to obtain root access on your device if you are using a jailbroken device, Telegram warns.

It says users with root access can easily bypass security features built into the operating system, read process memory or access restricted areas.

“Once an attacker has root access, any efforts to mitigate threats become futile. No application can be called safe under these circumstances, no matter how strong the encryption.”


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