THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning the public against engaging in groups that offer easy-money schemes that are found violating government regulations.

In separate advisories on its website, the SEC told the public to be cautious in dealing with representatives of Royal Online Generation (ROG) and Ecolife Biz/Ishared Ecolife/Ishared Technologies Ecolife (Ecolife).

These groups, it said, offer the public an opportunity to invest their money in them in exchange of monetary rewards.

In the case of ROG, the SEC said it found that the group is handled by the same people behind RCashOnline, OnlineBiz and Elite Entrep Blue Print. The three names it used in the past had been flagged by the SEC in previous advisories.

In its advisory about ROG, the SEC said the group operates through Facebook by encouraging the public to invest in product packages in exchange for a P1-million insurance coverage, health insurance, travel incentives and cash bonuses.

However, it noted ROG’s business strategy is unsustainable as it earns money through recruitment. The group is also not registered with the SEC and does not have authority to solicit investments from the public.

On the other hand, Ecolife runs its operations through its own websites but employs a similar scheme as ROG. The group invites the public to buy packages priced P1,000-P10,000 in exchange of a 60% return on investment every seven days. It also offers referral bonuses and incentives such as smartphones and cars.

The SEC warned that the profit of Ecolife “does not come from the outcome of a legitimate business activity.” It likewise did not register with the commission nor did it obtain a secondary license to solicit investments.

Because of their unauthorized easy-money operations, both ROG and Ecolife violated the Securities Regulation Code, which spells punishment for their activities: a maximum P5-million fine, up to 21 years of imprisonment, or both.

The SEC said those who invited or recruited others to invest in these groups may incur criminal liability. The public is advised not to invest or stop investing in ROG and Ecolife. — Denise A. Valdez