PETALING JAYA: Once a victim of an investment scam, financial adviser Afyan Mat Rawi made it his mission not to let the same fate befall others.
The 37-year-old got caught up in a get-rich-quick scheme while studying for his bachelor’s degree in law at the International Islamic University Malaysia in 2003, after being recommended by student leaders.
“I only lost RM300, but that was a lot for a young student. Thankfully, that was the first and last one I joined,” he said, adding that his family fell for a separate scam at around the same time.
After graduating, he worked in Islamic insurance and financial planning and realised how many get-rich-quick schemes there were out there, especially from clients who were conned.
He created a Facebook page in 2008 to share information about questionable investment opportunities, earning him the nickname of “scam buster”.
The page “Afyan Mat Rawi, IFP” now has nearly 30,000 likes and often receives tip-offs from insiders who want to expose scammers.
“Over the years, I’ve been intimidated with threats on Facebook. Some even brought bouncers to my office to scare me. A company tried to sue me for defaming them by exposing their scam,” he said.
He claims to have uncovered about 50 dubious companies so far.
Afyan’s three-step guide to measuring if a company might be a scammer is – check the company’s claims and owners’ background; see if the company is registered with Bank Negara or Securities Commission: and if the guaranteed returns are above 15% per annum, it is very likely a scam.
“No matter what the scam is – Forex, Gold, MLM – they use almost the same modus operandi. You can tell at a glance – they always offer quick cash returns with illogical dividends,” he said.