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2-Cent Rant

Too Good To Be True? Another Unregulated Investment Promoted By Instagram “Influencers”

A dubious get-rich scheme doesn’t become more “legit” just because an influencer is promoting it.

 

This article was edited and republished with permission from Budget Babe.

Just last month, I uncovered an “investment” that was making its rounds on Instagram, after being promoted by local social media influencers, while sharing why I found it so questionable.

Well, guess what? Here’s another one again. I got alerted to this by a few readers who wanted my views on whether this investment was legitimate, and it was after a close look that I discovered plenty of red flags.

And while the durian investments saga previously only required a minimum of $1,000+ to get started, this particular one is asking for a minimum of USD$10,000!

Let me ask you again: Why would you put so much of your hard-earned money with someone on Instagram whom you don’t even know?! Even if there ever comes a day where SG Budget Babe asks you to invest money with her (which will never happen, by the way), you should rightfully be skeptical and run for the hills!

Also, the methods used to promote this investments are starkly similar to that of the previous ones I’ve highlighted, with the majority of the posts being shown on the influencer’s Instagram stories – which is quite “smart”, since all evidence disappears after 24 hours, unless someone took a screenshot.

Let’s take a closer look at these two “investments” that Joycelyn Quek (@joycelynq) is promoting on her Instagram stories:

Dubious “Investment” #1: FOIN & Financial.org

Claims made by @joycelynq:

– Guaranteed returns!
– Monthly dividends!
– FOIN is going to be bigger than Bitcoin! There are proven numbers!

 

To present greater credibility, she also emphasises that the company is legitimate and is a sponsor of the F1 race. She also goes on to share testimonials on her Instagram Stories, supposedly by clients who have invested with her:

  

Some of my readers were initially drawn in, but wisely asked her for more information. Here’s what she said:

You’ll see that she mentions two key names – Financial.org and FOIN. I’ll elaborate more on each of these later.

Joyce also insists that interested investors have to meet her up, and pass USD$10,000 in cash to her. These should really be raising plenty of red flags.

Why I Regard FOIN To Be A Questionable Crypto Investment

 

I’m fairly in tune with the crypto scene, so I went to ask around but NO ONE had heard of a crypto coin, much less an ICO, called FOIN. When I tried to research, there was barely any information on it either – there is no whitepaper, no details on the coin structure or technology, no GitHub page, or any of the usual online presence that most cryptos have.

All I could find was a blog and a YouTube video about FOIN here, promising that it is going to have bigger and crazier returns than Bitcoin, Ethereum and even Ripple.

Nope, I do not believe that at all.

You’re telling me that a coin that no one that has simply appeared out of nowhere is going to become bigger than Bitcoin and Ethereum? Are you kidding me? How exactly are those returns delivered?

Well, this is what their company website claims:

FOIN promises guaranteed returns that are built into their programming language! *Rolls eyes to the moon and back.*

Isn’t it also a little odd that the company’s website is on a hosted WordPress site? This doesn’t seem very professional to me considering what it’ll cost to get a proper and official corporate website done up. You can view the original article where I took the screenshots above here.

Even their Facebook Page looks really unprofessional and with so little likes.

Joyce Quek also shared in her Instagram Stories that she had to fly to Indonesia to attend the company’s conference, where she took pictures with “royalty”. I have no idea who those people are, but when I researched further into the gala conference that she had posted about, I found this writeup here on BTC Manager where it says that Financial.org is the main sponsor. If you scroll to the bottom of the article, you’ll find that it is a paid press release.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has guidelines that says digital tokens that promise a form of return are effectively securities and thus need to comply with the relevant securities regulations. It remains to be seen if FOIN actually meets these requirements, and what will happen to Joyce Quek for promoting such “investments”.

I’m bullish about cryptos but I’ve always warned time and time again in my previous posts that scams are aplenty in the crypto universe, and there are plenty of “shitcoins” circulated around. If you’re not careful, you’re likely to get burnt.

Financial.Org – An Unregulated “Investment” Firm On Multiple Regulatory Watchlists

Now let’s take a closer look at Financial.Org, the company behind the investments.

Firstly, what on earth is Joyce Quek doing by promoting an unregulated investment firm?!?!

Financial.Org is notorious for having being placed on the alert lists of various regulators around the world, including:

– MAS Investor Alert List
– “UAE warns investors not to deal with Financial.org”
– Malaysia warns of Financial.org
– Indonesia and Thailand

Source

Source

Financial.org seems to also be owned by a UK citizen who is linked to many dissolved and liquidated companies, according to this source investigation:

Source

If you’re interested to find out more, you can check out this informative website dedicated to exposing Financial.Org.

Now, I watched @joycelynq promote this “investment” (which turn out to be FOIN and Financial.Org when you directly message her) on her Instagram Stories for the whole of last month. So I was glad that she FINALLY started tuning it down after awhile.

But then I saw this:

“Investment” #2: Joint Venture Project For A Developer!

Another new “investment”!?!?!

Looks like a leopard doesn’t change its spots. And the stakes keep getting higher – initially it was USD$10,000, and now it has been raised to S$20,000.

Remember what I said about corporate guarantees when I got a lawyer to examine the legal contract provided by @pxdkitty and the company in the durian investments saga? If you don’t remember, you can read it again here to understand why such “corporate GUARANTEEs” are pretty meaningless.

But once more, it appears like she’s getting plenty of interest in her “investment” opportunities:

 

Remember, stay savvy, keep your money safe, and don’t be so quick to trust any random investment that an Instagram “influencer” promotes to you.

 

With love,
Budget Babe

Budget Babe is an ordinary lady striving to achieve financial freedom in Singapore before the age of 45. She writes in order to empower fellow Singaporeans on taking charge of their own lives and finances, and to eventually break free from the competitive rat race.

DollarsAndSense Editor’s Note:

Investment scams that masquerade as legitimate investment opportunities are everywhere. Because they prey on human psychology, even smart people can fall prey. You can watch this social experiment DollarsAndSense conducted to see how easy to scam Singaporeans using the characteristics of real-life scams:

Read Also: Scam Checklist – 7 Ways To Tell If The “Investment” You Are Looking At Could Be A Scam

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