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The Menace of Corruption and Bribery: A Global Challenge


Corruption and bribery are pervasive issues that plague societies worldwide, transcending geographical, cultural, and economic boundaries. These unethical practices undermine the fabric of democracy, erode public trust, and hinder sustainable development. This essay explores the multifaceted nature of corruption and bribery, delving into their causes, consequences, and potential solutions.

Understanding Corruption:

Corruption manifests in various forms, including bribery, embezzlement, nepotism, and fraud. At its core, corruption involves the abuse of power for personal gain, often at the expense of public welfare. It infiltrates both public and private sectors, posing a severe threat to economic stability and social justice. Corruption hampers the effective functioning of institutions, leading to skewed resource allocation, distorted policies, and compromised public services.

Causes of Corruption:

Unraveling the roots of corruption reveals a complex interplay of factors. Weak institutions, inadequate legal frameworks, and a lack of accountability create fertile ground for corruption to flourish. Socioeconomic disparities, political instability, and cultural norms that tolerate corrupt practices also contribute to the problem. Additionally, the opacity of decision-making processes and a lack of transparency provide cover for corrupt activities to go unchecked.

Consequences of Corruption:

The ramifications of corruption extend far beyond financial losses. Corruption corrodes the moral fabric of society, breeding a culture of dishonesty and distrust. In the economic sphere, it impedes investment, stifles entrepreneurship, and hinders economic growth. Moreover, corruption exacerbates poverty by diverting resources away from essential public services like education, healthcare, and infrastructure.

Bribery as a Subset of Corruption:

Bribery, a subset of corruption, involves the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of something of value with the intention of influencing the action of an official or other person in a position of power. It often takes place in both public and private sectors, facilitating the circumvention of rules and regulations. Bribery compromises fair competition, distorts market dynamics, and undermines the principles of meritocracy.

Global Perspectives on Corruption:

Corruption is not confined to any particular region; it is a global challenge that affects both developed and developing nations. The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries based on perceived levels of corruption. This index highlights that no region is immune to the scourge of corruption, emphasizing the need for coordinated global efforts to combat this menace.

Anti-Corruption Initiatives:

International organizations, governments, and civil society groups have recognized the urgency of addressing corruption. The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) provides a framework for combating corruption globally. Many countries have established anti-corruption agencies, implemented whistleblower protection mechanisms, and strengthened legal frameworks to prosecute corrupt individuals. However, the effectiveness of these initiatives varies, and sustained efforts are required to ensure their success.

Technological Solutions:

Advancements in technology offer promising avenues for combating corruption. Digital platforms and blockchain technology, for instance, can enhance transparency in financial transactions, making it more challenging for corrupt practices to go undetected.

E-governance initiatives and the use of artificial intelligence in public administration can streamline processes, reduce opportunities for corruption, and enhance accountability.

Corporate Responsibility:

Corruption is not solely a public sector issue; it permeates the private sector as well. Businesses must adopt ethical practices and transparent corporate governance to curb corruption.

Implementing robust internal controls, conducting regular audits, and fostering a culture of integrity within organizations are crucial steps in promoting ethical conduct and preventing bribery.

Is It Just A Perception?

Corruption and Bribery go hand in hand especially in business environment.

However it all depends on how one look at it, whether it is corruption and bribery or just a normal business transaction to improve productivity?

I would like to share my experience way back in the 1990s when I was doing one investigative audit on one bank manager.

He gave an explanation of his take on corruption and bribery which I found quite interesting.

Following is his narrative on the issue:

Way back in 1990s in Malaysia, when one started a business, the most important thing was to have a phone land line, back then mobile phone was not popular or hardly in existence.

To apply for a land line, it took about a month for the telecom to install the line.

However, if you could offer some incentive to the telecom staff, say a monetary incentive to speed up the process, he could get the line done within a day or two

So now the question was – was the monetary incentive paid to the telecom staff a bribery, in the case of the giver and whether it was a corruption in the hand of the telecom staff as a receiver?

For a shrew businessman who just wanted to start his business immediately, as far as he was concerned, it was a payment well spent since he got his land line installed within a day and he could start making calls for his business.

Instead of waiting for a month doing nothing and no income, that was a bad business decision.

As far as businessman is concerned, as long as he had what he wanted to get his business going, it did not matter, since he was in business now.

That explanation got me thinking, from the audit point of view, some violation of the integrity of the personnels were there.

But from the business point of view, it was a good move by the businessman to ensure he could start doing business immediately instead of waiting for 30 days before he could get going.

So, it is just a perception, if monetary payment could advance the course of business, was it corruption and/or bribery?

In business world, if we really want to uphold the integrity and dignity of high moral value, then there should not be any entertainment or giving of gift during festive season.

Especially during Chinese New Year, you can see a lot of hampers being delivered to banks office and so on, and there are a lot of business dinner and/or lunch, all of these are the result of business relationship, one of the way to show appreciation of business dealings.

It seems that the definition of corruption and bribery is on a very thin line.

Just look at the recent case in Singapore, if it happened in a country like Malaysia, it would be considered as normal and expected.

So is it a perception or really corruption and bribery?

Educating and Empowering Citizens:

Empowering citizens with knowledge about their rights and the detrimental effects of corruption is essential in the fight against this pervasive issue.

Education campaigns, grassroots movements, and community engagement initiatives can raise awareness and mobilize citizens to demand accountability from their leaders. Informed and active citizenry is a potent force in holding governments and institutions accountable for their actions.


Corruption and bribery are formidable challenges that require a comprehensive and collaborative approach. Governments, international organizations, businesses, and civil society must work together to strengthen institutions, improve legal frameworks, and foster a culture of transparency and accountability. Embracing technological advancements, promoting corporate responsibility, and empowering citizens are integral components of a multi-pronged strategy to combat corruption and build a more just and equitable society. Only through sustained efforts and a collective commitment can the world hope to eradicate the menace of corruption and bribery.


Nowadays people like to use platform to do their trading or investment.

do we do investment or trading?

for some, there are not able to differentiate the different between the two.

What is investment?

What is trading?

For those who like to be involved and watch the market such as NYSE, SI, Hang Seng, and so on, some will like to their hand in it, be it investment or trading.

normally people tend to use the two terms interchangeably , however there is a distinct different between the two terms

When one is in stock market and do Day Trading, as it is the easiest and fastest way to make money, this is TRADING.

if playing stock market with a long term view, then it is knowns as investment.

Normally investment is to take a position in a certain stock with the view of holding that stock for long term, and most of the time is for the high dividend yield of the stock which attract investors to hold long term for the stock.

There is a software which can assist investor in determine which counter to enter for - be it for day trading or long term investment, the software is known as Homily Chart.

This software or app is very useful and informative and can assist investors in making a calculated decision on which counter to buy and when to exit .

What are the main salient points of this app.

As stated in their own website, and I quote”

“Homily software has the function of stock selection, buying point analysis decision, stock holding analysis decision, and currency holding analysis decision.”

To find out more about this software, you can go to their website at

What I like most about this is their online Homily Chart Class which they organize almost every day, in English and Mandarin.

Some of the sample charts are as follows:

(as extracted from their website)

They have the software which you can either use it on your laptop or using your mobile.

Homily encouraged people to use their mobile app version as you can use it on the go and check your portfolio as you go.

I will not go in details on the software, you can do so by going to their website to learn about it.


However, if you really feel a need to get in contact and find out more, you can contact me , I can help you to link up with one of their staffs who are more than willing to help.

Series 4 of the online financial scams

Today I am going to continue my online financial scams series, as highlighted by the China Public Security Bureau earlier this year.

We should share this knowledge about how to avoid online financial scams so that more people are aware of the scams.

5. Fictitious Claims Scams

a. Fictitious car accident scam

Acting as the relatives or friends of the victims of the car accidents, the scammers claim that

  • the victims need to settle the accidents settled immediately,
  • demand the other party to transfer the compensation money.
b. Scammed kidnap plot

The Scammer informed the victims' relative that the victims have been kidnapped.

They then asked the victim to pay ransom to a specific bank account.

The relative is warned not report to the police, if not, they will kill the victims.

c. Surgery Scam

Scammer informs the victim's parents or children that:

  • the kids or the parents need surgery immediately, due to sudden attack of sickness,
  • demand the victims remit the money before treatment can be made immediately.
d. Dire Strait Situation Scam

Scammer act as if he is  in serious financial, life threatening sickness .

He then appeals to the public via social media pleading to secure some donations.

With this in mind, the scammers will hope to get as much as possible.

e. Reported parcel with drug scam

Scammer informs the victim that:

  • the parcel addressed to the victims
  • they found drugs in the parcel, and
  • required the victim to pay some money to the National Security Account,
  • before they carry out a proper investigation.

f. photo shopped obscene and lewd photos scam

Scammers collect the photos of public servants:

  • use the computer to photoshop into obscene pictures, and
  • mail to the victim, attached with the bank account number,
  • threatening and blackmailing the public servants to pay up or risk being exposed.
g. Abortion Cost Scam

Scammer impersonating as the children:

  • to send short messaging to the parents,
  • knowing very well how the parents love their children,
  • convince the parents to transfer money for abortion cost.

6. Daily Living Scam

a. Impersonating as Land Lord Scam

Scammer impersonates the land lord:

  • send short messaging to the tenants,
  • informing the tenant, that
  • the landlord had changed the bank card and account numbers, and
  • advise the tenants to pay their rental to a specified account.
b. Telephone Bill Scam

Scammer acted as they are from the telco, calls the consumers, or using the pre-recorded voice message, informing the consumer to pay their outstanding bills to a designated bank account.

c. Tax Rebate On Goods Purchase Scam

After obtaining the particulars and information about the victims' recent purchases of houses or cars, the scammers calls the victims to informs the victims, that

  • due to the changes in tax policies,
  • hence they are entitled for rebate of tax and duties,
  • ask the victims to go to ATM to execute the transfer in order to enable them to get paid.
d. Change of Air Tickets Scam

Scammer act as official from the airline customer service,

  • the scammers inform the victim,
  • due to the cancellation of flights, refund of air ticket and changes of services,
  • they are entitled to have the refund.
How does the customer can get his refund?

However, for the purpose of getting the refund of their money, now they require the victims to make payments as processing fees.

e. Online Ticket Booking Scam

Scammers created a fake website for ticket booking,

  • using a much lower ticket prices to attract victims to purchase tickets online.
  • If any victim used the platform, they will discover something amiss.
  • The Scammer calls the victim to inform that the transaction was not successful.

As a result of it, the victim is  required to keep making payment online.

f. ATM Scam

Scammer jams the ATM cash dispenser slot, and

  • paste a fake phone hot line service number at the ATM,
  • after the victim used the number to call,
  • they then obtain the necessary details of the victims.
  • After waiting for the victim to go away, then
  • they retrieve the card from the ATM and
  • withdraw the money using the cards.

g. Credit Card Scam

Scammer calls the victim informing the victim that their credit cards details have been exposed.

As a result of that, they now required the victim to provide the necessary information to scam the victim, to enable them to check and rectify.

h. Remittance Scam

Scammers using the group chat short messaging method to require the victims to remit money to certain bank accounts, normally this happen when the victim was in the process of making remittance to banks.

Without checking, they will just act on the information and make the remittance to the bank account of the scammers.

With this, the scammers will be receiving money without the victims knowing.

Pointes to Ponder

With so much scams going on, it would be good every one of us stay alert and share the experience.

If you have any questions or wish to share your experience on this topic, please feel free to leave your comments, questions and your experience in the feedback space below

I would be glad to get back to you and thank you for your feedback, comments and sharing of your experience.

This is my third series on the Online Financial Scams. I hope this series can create some awareness to avoid online financial scams.

In the second series, I quoted some online financial scams as published and advised by the Public Security Bureau of China.

In this, I elaborate more on the advice given by The Public Security Bureau of China

2. Purchasing Scams

a. Impersonating supplier to scam

The scammers act like the real online suppliers, using attractive discounts, helping to purchase from overseas as bait, once the buyers remit the money.

The scammer will tell the victim that Customs have detained the goods, therefore the victim needs to pay additional tax, ask the buyers to pay additional amounts to carry out their scams.

b. Refund scam.

The scammers impersonate the online merchants like Taobao or JD customers services, call or message the buyers, to inform them that the goods purchased are out of stock and they need to refund the money remitted and ask the buyers to provide the bank card numbers and password and other information, to carry out their scam.

c. Online purchase scam

The scammers open online platform, once the buyers place orders, they inform that the buyers that the platform faced some problem and need to reboot. After that using messaging system to send fictitious activation code, getting the buyers to fill in their particulars, to carry out their scam

d. rock bottom price goods scam

Scammers published message such as they have second hands goods, like vehicles, computers and goods confiscated by Custom Department ready to be sold, once intended buyers contact them, and get the innocent buyers pay the necessary deposit and processing fees and scammed the buyers.

e. Termination of installment payment scam

The scammer impersonate the website workers and informed the customers that due to bank system error, require the victims to go to the ATM to terminate the installment payment plan and execute a cash transfer.

f. Collector scam

Scammers impersonating officer from the Collector Association, print invitations to all places claiming they are holding auction of collectors items and leave the contact number. Once the victims contact them, they will ask the victims to pay for valuation and assessment fees and require the victims to remit the amounts to designated bank account.

g. Courier receipt scam.

This scam works in the following manner:

  • Scammer impersonating they are from courier company, and
  • call the victim that there is a courier item to be delivered,
  • however the address and information are not clear,
  • hence require the victim to provide clearer information, before goods are delivered,
  • once the victim signed receipt,
  • they will call and inform that the victim
  • Victim will be asked to acknowledge for prepayment of money,
  • if they do not do so, the debt collection company will look for them.

3. Events/ Activities Scams

a. Promoting fictitious charities' message

Scammers put up a missing person poster and ask good Samaritan will help to spread the news about the missing person without realizing that the contact number posted is a scamming phone number.

b. "like" scam

Scammer post as merchants who promote the 'click like' will win prize campaign, requiring participants to provide their name, contact number and other personal data to a social media platform, after securing enough data, they call the victim and inform them that they have won a prize, however to claim their prize, they need to pay certain amount to guarantee their prize.

4. Incentive Inducement Scams

a. Impersonating well-known corporate for lottery won.

Scammers impersonating a well-known enterprise, and printed a lot of high resolution lottery tickets and mail to targets, after that will inform the victims that they need to pay personal income tax for the winnings, and ask the victims to disclose their main bank accounts numbers to remit the money.

b. Win prizes in entertainment program.

Scammers use the popular entertainment program to message the victims that they had won the lucky draw prize, however to get the prize, they need to furnish their income tax number or pay a guarantee amount to secure the prize.

c. Bonus Points Scam

Scammer call the victims telling the victim that their phone points are entitled to convert to cash, seducing the victims to click on the phishing link, if the victims click on the link and input their bank details and passwords, their account balance will be transferred away.

d. QR Code Scam

Using discount, incentive as bait, ask the victim to scan the QR Code to be a member, the QR Code has a Trojan Horse in it and once scanned, the scammer will use that Trojan Horse to steal the particulars of the victims' bank details.

e. Paying huge sum for a kid scam

The scammer tell the victim that he is willing to pay huge sum to have a kid, and is prepared to pay the sum to show is sincerity

f. Highly Paid Job Scam

The tricks of the Scammers, via social media, are as follows:

  • advertise that they are hiring professional
  • with attractive salary, and
  • request any victims to be at the designated place for interviews,
  • after that demanding the victims to pay for training, uniform and guarantee fees.

g. Email Scam

The Email Scam of the Scammers works as below:

  • use email to inform victims that they have won lucky prizes and
  • once the victim contacts the scammer,
  • scammer tell victim that they need to pay for the income tax for winning the prize,
  • ask the winner to pay  guarantee fees for the prizes and
  • demand the victim to remit money to secure their prizes

In Summary

If you have any questions or wish to share your experience on this topic, please feel free to leave your comments, questions and your experience in the feedback space below.

I would be glad to get back to you

Thank you for your feedback, comments and sharing of your experience.


The China Public Security Bureau last month published a list of the online scams on their website to warn people of the usual scammers' tricks and how to avoid online financial scams if we happen to encounter it.

The report was a very comprehensive list consisting of 60 methods used by the scammers.

The methods used were summarized by the China Public Security Bureau into the followings categories:

  1. Impersonating officials.
  2. Purchase scams.
  3. Events/Activities scams.
  4. Incentive inducement scams.
  5. Fictitious claims scams.
  6. Daily living scams.
  7. Trojan Horse, phishing scams.
  8. Other new illegal cheating scams

1. Impersonating officials/ other people identities.

a. Impersonating some leaders to cheat:

The scammers impersonate some leaders to make calls to some heads of departments on the pretext of selling books; or some memorial coins to scam the departments concerned to remit money to the designated bank accounts.

b. Impersonating relatives to scam:

Using Trojan Horse malware to obtain target internet user names and passwords. After obtaining the required IM information, following that, they use the targeted user's ID and password to inform the relatives that there has been an emergency or accident and thereafter requested the relatives to remit money to some accounts.

c. Impersonating CEO s of companies:

Scammers use the companies internal communication system to understand the communication between the CEO and the employees. After that they impersonate the CEO to instruct the staff to transfer some money to their accounts.

d. Scam on subsidies, scholarships and study grants:

Impersonating education officials, relevant authority or officials to call or send short messages to parents or students, claiming they can help to get the money needed by them. After that they then ask the victims to provide the necessary cards' numbers, then instruct the victim to transfer some money in order to receive the main money.

e. Impersonating police officers:

The scammers call the victims and inform them that they are from the police department and tell the victims that their personal data has been used in some illegal money laundering transactions, therefore they need to transfer the money to the national bank accounts in order for them to assist in some investigations.

f. Impersonating identity:

Scammers act like they are some rich and highly qualified persons. After gaining the trust and confidence of those they call, they will then pretend there are some financial issues or their relatives badly need some financial assistance and so try and scam their friends.

g. Medical insurance and social security scams: 

The Scammers act like they are from the Medical insurance or Social Security departments and inform the victims that there are some irregularities in their accounts , because of this they need to do some investigations. Afterwards they use their new status to convince the victims to give them the necessary information.

h. Guess who I am:

Scammers call the victims and ask them to guess who they are. They pretend they know each other very well, after which they will proceed to borrow money from their unsuspecting victims. Because of that, some victims fail to verify the identity of the callers and straight away remit the money to the bank account provided by the scammers.

The above is the first series of the information on Online Financial Scams

Don't fall for the online financial scams, and to understand more about financial scams, you may want to read this book, to gain more insight of it

If you have any questions or wish to share your experience on this topic, please feel free to leave your comments, questions and your experience in the feedback space below.

I would be glad to get back to you and thank you for your feedback, comments and sharing of your experience.


What Is Online Financial Scams?

If you talk to anyone whom you know very well, it is likely that they will tell you they don't believe about online financial scams, and they could be targeted by the online scammers or they will ever get (caught or) scammed (by scammers).

It is human nature to think that this will only happen to others and not us, it is a myth to believe that negative incidents and bad luck only happen to others.

There are a lot of online scams nowadays, as technology gets more sophisticated and advanced.

Any invention is a double edged sword. It depends on the users and the creators whether it is put to good use or otherwise.

What Are Some Common Online Scams?

  1. Email Scams
  2. Credit Cards Scams
  3. FaceBook Scams
  4. Job Offer Scams
  5. Investment Scams
  6. Financial Training Scams
  7. Wechat IM scams

1. Email Scams

There have been a lot of scams using emails.

I have received a fair number of these emails, from people claiming they worked in certain banks, and the bank customers had passed away. Hence their funds were sitting idle in the bank, and they could help to get the funds out.

Example of the email scam

2. Credit Cards Scams

At the back of the credit card, there is a Card Verification Code, commonly known as CVC number.

Banks tell us that the CVC number is unique,  we are not supposed to let anyone know this number, as this is one of the safety features of the credit cards, besides the chip on the card.

However every time we do an online purchase, the merchant requires us to fill in the CVC number.

Previously when there was no CVC number, we only had to fill in the credit card 16 digit numbers.

Due to various credit cards fraud cases, the banks decided to create the CVC as a security measure, and to verify that the user is the legal card holder.

So, if you pay for something online, you are required to key in the CVC number.

How do you know the number will not be captured by any malware? or whatever if the online system is hacked?.

3. Facebook Scams

There are a lot of fake Facebook accounts.

Facebook does not ensure that those who register for the accounts are legitimate.

Users can use any names to register and open an account.

As such, it is difficult to determine whether the person you befriend or connect with on Facebook, are really who they say they are ,even though they use photos in their profiles.

It can be quite dangerous, especially with online transactions, cyber bullying and even false "friends".

What the Mass Media Reported?

On 16th February 2019, The Straits Times of Singapore reported, that at least SGD $ 1 m lost to Facebook impersonation scams between January 2018 and February 2019, according to the Singapore Police Force.

It was further reported that the Police had received at least 42 reports where victims were contacted on Facebook and duped into transferring money to the scammers.

To read more of this, you may want to access the Straits Times of Singapore for more details.

4. Job Offers Scam

Another big scam which i came across is the job offers scam.

You may receive an email informing you, that you have been offered a job or selected to work for a certain company overseas and so on.

Then they send you a contract and tell you to contact an "authorized" travel agent, to process your work visa and whatever paperwork you may need to work in the country where the job is.

They tell you to pay for the cost of the permit or visa and remit the money to certain bank account. If you bank in any money, it will be gone.

If you try to query them on the legibility of the procedure, they will not bother to reply to your email. Your money will just be lost.

Example of job offers scam

5. Investment Scams

There are aplenty online investment scams where many claim to get rich, making at least a thousand dollars per day by signing up for the offer.

A lot of Option Trading platforms claim to make their investors rich within minutes.

If people fall for this, they soon discover they are not able to withdraw their capital, and their so called winnings. After a while, the platform will no longer be available.

It has been reported (discovered) that a group residing in certain countries in the Middle East is operating and specializing in this scam.

6. Financial Training Scams

This is another scam which claims to be legitimate, and provides financial training for people, who want to learn how to invest or trade online. (They offer to conduct the necessary training so that you are able to trade online).

During the course of the training, they ask you to open an account with a trading platform, so that they can guide you in your investments. The platform is similar to the platform mentioned in No. 5 above.

If you check the caller ID, it may look like the phone call is made from the country you are residing in. However, when you call back, you discover that the number is not a local number and cannot be reached. Before you know it, any money you put in is completely lost!

7. Wechat IM scams

Currently there are a lot of scams using the Wechat IM system.

Usually in these scams, the culprits try to trick the victims into giving them their online credits or gift cards for making purchases, usually in exchange for sexual favors

Above are some online financial scams now commonly used to try to scam people who are ignorant.


They usually work on the greed of people who want to get rich quickly and easily.

(You Know You Only Live Once ) and if we are not alert and prudent, we can easily fall for these scams.

Many have lost their hard-earned life savings and have had their retirement plans shattered.

If you have doubts on how to detect online financial scams, you may want to check out Federal Trade Commission Scam Alerts

You may also want to make sure of the search function below here to find out more 


Last but no least, I find this FTC site has very useful information to help in our effort to detect online financial scams, and save us from any unnecessary financial losses.

In conclusion, we need to stay vigilant in our daily usage of online transactions, and beware of the scams.

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