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​Indonesia Utilises Big Data to Mitigate Financial Fraud

Indonesia’s Investment Alert Task Force (SWI) is using big data analytics to identify illegal financial services activities. The preventative measures have been taken by the Task Force before any complaints emerge from victims.

SWI discovered 9 entities making investment offers without permits in December 2022, 80 illegal online loans with the potential to harm the community and 9 private pawnshops operating without permits.

According to SWI Head Tongam L. Tobing, the team obtained the information from monitoring activities currently rife in the community via the investment alert application in their big data centre. “SWI is always here to protect the public from unregistered investment and fraud under the guise of investment.”

Tongam went on to say that illegal investments were dealt with collaboratively by all SWI members from 12 ministries/agencies. However, since SWI is not a law enforcement officer, it cannot carry out legal proceedings. Therefore, SWI can only block websites or applications and submit an information report to Indonesia’s cyber police department, Bareskrim Polri, in addition to stopping and announcing it to the public.

As a response to rumours circulating in the community about SWI’s prohibition on victims of illegal investments withdrawing their funds, Tongam underlined that SWI had never prohibited the action.

“Every entity whose operations have been halted by the Investment Alert Task Force must reimburse the community for its losses. Don’t be too quick to believe the reasons given by illegal investors. If the perpetrators make it difficult to withdraw funds, immediately notify the police,” Tongam cautioned the team.

The following are the nine entities that made investment offers without permission and were terminated by SWI:

  • Four unlicensed service offers an investment.
  • Two entities financed and funded without permission.
  • Without permission, one entity engages in property agent activities.
  • One entity engaging in crypto asset activities without authorisation.
  • One entity illegally trades digital assets.

SWI also discovered 80 illegal online loan platforms. So, from 2018 to December 2022, the total number of online illicit loan platforms closed was 4,432 illegal loans. Although thousands of unlawful online lending sites have been shut down, online criminal lending is still prevalent in society.

“Every day, SWI receives complaints from members of the public who have been victims of illegal loans. As a result, several perpetrators have faced legal action, but some have not been deterred, and new perpetrators emerge,” Tongam shared.

The Investment Alert Task Force encourages law enforcement to pursue perpetrators of illegal online loans, while SWI blocks sites and applications from public access. However, the community’s participation is critical in eradicating illegal investment. If people are still enticed by high interest offers, regardless of their legality or fairness, perpetrators will continue to emerge with new methods.

SWI has normalised the Indonesian Current Savings KSP (KSP Planetary Savings) for further guidance by the Indonesian Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises. The public can check their legality by visiting the supervising authority’s website or by checking whether they have ever been included in the list of entities stopped by the Investment Alert Task Force via the investment alert website.

Not only did the Investment Alert Task Force discover illegal lending and investment activities, but it also discovered nine illegal private pawnshop businesses operating without permission from the Financial Services Authority (OJK).

From 2019 to December 2022, the Task Force shut down 251 illegal pawnshop operations. The activities violate Financial Services Authority Regulation 31/POJK.05/2016 on Pawn Business (POJK). For that reason, Tongam urges the public to check the legality of private pawnshops and only transact with pawnshops registered with the OJK.

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