Four enterprising final-year students at NTU’s WKWSCI wanted to alert young people to the many pitfalls in the financial world. This is why they built a website (legitornotsg.com) and surveyed investors. Over the past months, the students – Ms Fong Yihui, 23, Mr Kang Hong Wei, 25, Ms Lai Lingliu, 23, and Ms Rachel Bong, 23 – spoke to many of their peers as well as those who were already working and found that most of them took investment opportunities at face value. It was often only after they lost money that they realised they should have spotted the many warning signs of a scam.
A recent poll of around 300 frequent investors aged between 21 and 39 who were shown an ad featuring a fake investment opportunity found that a majority could not spot the fake deal. More than half of them even believed that such an offer was a genuine and good investment. Only a third were positive that such too-good-to-be-true offers can only come from crooks.
These were some of the startling findings of the survey conducted by four final-year Communication Studies students at NTU following a spate of investment scams here. What makes the result worrying is that those who took part in this survey were among the younger generation of digital natives and most were either university students or young working adults. Almost 60 per cent of them hold at least a university degree or higher.