A Taichung man that downloaded an e-trade app invested a total of NT$14 million in the stock market. When he tried to withdraw some money, he couldn't. The Securities and Investment Trust and Consulting Association of the R.O.C. says there are only 87 approved securities investment consulting firms in Taiwan and investors should confirm if a firm is legal before investing.
A Taichung man surnamed Chang that joined a Line investment group downloaded an e-trade app at the recommendation of the group's investment "teacher," who promised a consistent 10 percent return. Within a few months, he had invested NT$14 million. When he tried to withdraw a large sum recently, he was denied. Only when he was asked to pay a sum of money to "reactivate" his frozen account did he realize he'd been scammed.
Mr. Chang, Scam Victim: “I wanted to withdraw my money, but they said no. They said I had to (re)activate (my account) first. When I heard the word "reactivate," I knew I was in trouble. I'd never heard that term used in Taiwan before. That's why I called the police.”
The Securities and Investment Trust and Consulting Association of the R.O.C. says there are only 87 legal securities investment consulting firms in Taiwan, and investors must open an account with a firm before they can buy and sell stocks. A list of the firms can be found on the Financial Supervisory Commission's website. Investors can also check with the association.
Chu Cheng-chih, Dep. Chair, Securities and Investment Trust and Consulting Association of the R.O.C.: “Only certified securities investment firms can provide investment advice. All others are illegal. People should not use software or click on links that are not provided by a legal firm.”
Mr. Chang reported his case to the police in the hopes of preventing others from falling prey to the same scam. The association, meanwhile, reminds everyone that only investment advice from legal channels should be considered, and advice received via text message or social media should be ignored.