As an investor, if you've ever wanted to submit a complaint to the TT Securities and Exchange Commission (TTSEC), that process is about to get easier with the launch of a new mobile app.
The TTSEC will launch the app, which it said is aimed at improving the ease with which investors can submit complaints and members of the public can submit a tip or report a scam, on August 4.
In a media release, the TTSEC said, "The Investor Protection Mobile Application was developed in response to the changing consumer dynamics and the growing demand for organisations to adopt measures and systems to facilitate the delivery of contactless services."
Through the app, members of the public can submit documents, images, video and audio files direct from a smart device. The app will also allow for timely dissemination of investor alerts and useful information to the public.
"Since covid19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020, the TTSEC has noted with concern the rise in pyramid-type investment scams that are being marketed to consumers online and in chat groups," the release noted.
"Research has shown that persons are spending an increasing amount of time online and on their mobile devices thus presenting a captive market to online scammers. In 2020, there were 1.08 million internet users with 860,000 on social media in Trinidad and Tobago. Locally, the use of Facebook, via mobile devices, increased substantially from 38 per cent in April, 2020 to 71 per cent in June, 2021."
The TTSEC said it's this new and evolving environment which led to the development of the app, the first of its kind in TT and within securities markets in the region, for enhanced accessibility by investors and the public.
The app will augment the established investor complaints system, which allows for the submission of complaints and tips via the website (https://www.ttsec.org.tt/about-us/investor-complaints/); email (firstname.lastname@example.org); formal correspondence and by telephone.
App users would be able to:
• submit complaints on investments and investment offerings
• anonymously provide tips on investment fraud/scams
• safely and securely submit tips and complaints to the TTSEC
• interact with the TTSEC.
Key features of the app include:
• in app complaints online form
• submission of a tip in the form of documents, images, videos and audio files
• live interactive chatbot – ‘Investobot’ – to aid in navigating the app
• quick access to the list of registered registrants
• quick access to the list of registered securities/investments
• daily investor updates and helpful guidance, and
• investment fraud awareness which focuses on the different types of scams that exists locally, eg pyramid schemes.
The app will be available for download via Google Play and the Apple Store.