I first got to know the company Cufflinks Holdings through a good friend. She told me that she invested around SGD 100K with this company in a Condotel project in Philippines and has been getting dividend monthly for the last 6 months.
At first, I was not interested at all, until she brought me to a soft launch of another project by the same company at Batam. It was a soft launch for another condotel project, The Islandica in Batam, Pulau Abang Besar. The investment requires SGD 30,000 which is lesser than the Philippine project and my friend who trusted this company managed to persuade me to invest.
She told me that she knows the bosses, the two brothers who are also Dato of Malaysia,(sorry I forgot their names). what convinces me to invest was that her son was working for that company and was very involved, so it can not be a scam. Based on trust, I finally agreed. We invested SGD 30,000 each in the Islandia Project.
The promise offered was:
1) We will get monthly dividends starting from 2nd month of investment.
In 3 years’ time when the resort was built and start running, as in renting out the hotel rooms. They will also give us 2 offers:
1) They will buy back the unit from us at estimated SGD90,000 (more or less)
2) We stay put the money and allow them to run/rent out the unit/room. At the end of the year, we will be be given out the profit from the rental.
I did received the dividend for the first 3 months amounting to SGD300 – 400 each month and received regular newsletter. But at the fourth month the dividend payment stopped and also the updates.
I started to get worried and contacted my friend but she assuring me that the company is doing alright. After 4 months of not hearing any news from the company, my friend told me that the company is having revamp and caught up in other projects. After about more than 6 months of no news from the company, finally there was an e-mail stating that the lawyers whom the company engaged has run away with investors’ money.
At a loss and with such lame excuse, I convinced my friend that this is a scam from the beginning.