In the wake of a growing number of financial scams, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has launched a campaign to warn the general public of the different types of scams which exist, and how to spot them.
In an eight page online guide published on its website, it gives a snapshot of the most popular financial scams, explaining their characteristics and the tricks that scammers use to deceive people.
The ultimate objective of scammers is to trick people in order to steal money from them. They generally do this by convincing victims to share sensitive information such as personal and account details or lure them into investing money by advertising fake offers or services.
Recent years have seen local banks become popular targets for scammers in Malta.
In addition to banking and crypto currency scams, the guide delves into forex scams, clones, romance scams and phishing emails.
It also advises the public to refer to a checklist of red flags which can prove useful for spotting a scam.
Some of the red flags listed are: the use of aggressive selling techniques and the promotion of limited time offers, unlicensed or unregistered companies, guarantees on a risk-free investment and getting rich quick.
Consumers are advised to only make transactions once they have ascertained that it is licensed by a reputable regulator. Verifications on local entities can be made through the Financial Services Register.
MFSA’s chief enforcement officer, Michelle Mizzi Buontempo stated: “The MFSA is taking proactive measures to protect the public and consumers of financial services. Our approach is two-pronged. While we continue supervising authorised entities to make sure that they comply with the required legislation, our goal is also to ensure that people are sufficiently informed to recognise the red flags and prevent falling victim to these schemes.”
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