Eh, Datuk! Are you for real?

A Datukship is a coveted title. It conveys prestige, credibility, respect and it also opens doors to many opportunities. It is so lucrative that Malaysians are willing to pay substantial amounts of money for it – as reported in The Sun Daily that 40 people were duped into buying fake Datukship titles!

Scams surrounding Datukships aren’t just for those interested in having one. There have been countless reports of scams like this Datuk and his wife who scammed over a thousand investors of up to RM55 million, or this fake Datuk who was caught for selling fake titles

Before a person is awarded a Datukship, they have to be vetted by the government beforehand. Due to this fact, many Malaysian investors feel at ease knowing that a respectable Datuk is involved in their potential investments. However, is that Datukship genuine?

On March 1, the Star reported how a mystery Datuk Seri was involved in an RM19m corruption case, with stories like that floating around our local news, it is hard not to be skeptical.

Many scammers use various methods to appear genuine, such as putting up pictures of themselves in uniform receiving their titles, showing off their medals, giving out name cards with the title and having special Datuk number plates for their vehicles. Some even throw lavish parties celebrating their Datukship or advertise them in newspapers. There are also syndicates that use photo editing softwares to provide forgeries for a fee. This has become such a concern that Parliament passed the Awards Act 2016 in November 2016 to punish those soliciting or trying to sell fake awards with up to 20 years in jail.


To the uninitiated, it is very easy to be misled into believing that a partnership, business opportunity or investment, is truly backed by a legitimate Datuk. However, identifying and reporting a fake Datuk can be a challenge, so much so, that the Council of Federal Datuks Malaysia (MDPM) has even urged the relevant authorities to set up a hotline for the public to report those carrying fake “Datuk” titles.

While there is no public database to help verify Datuks and the investments that they are backing, potential investors can always opt to approach Verity Intelligence, as we can help you find out if your potential business partner is a genuine Datuk or otherwise.

Our verification process includes doing checks to verify their identity, their business set-up, any relevant and active affiliations, their current financial status, bankruptcy status and education history. We can also check if they have been sued for something that might affect you and get a pulse of what their reputation is like in the market.

In our experience, we have found that those having fake Datukships often also forge other credentials, and as such, we believe a full background check can be helpful in identifying who you are really doing business with.

Don’t fall for a scam just because of the perceived credibility! Find out how background screenings can help protect your investments by staying tuned to for more information and articles.

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