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THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said unlicensed firms have been found selling technology investments without authorization, and warned the public against buying such securities.

In a statement Wednesday, the regulator flagged Delta Crypt Limited, INVEXPERT and The Billion Coin (TBC) for selling investment contracts without licenses to offer or sell securities in the Philippines.

It also noted that the groups were not SEC-registered as corporations or partnerships.

Delta Crypt, which claims to be a private firm registered in England and Wales, sells standard investment plans promising yields of 104% to 6,000% after one to 90 days for a $10 to $100,000 deposit. The group is purportedly engaged in cryptocurrency trading.

INVEXPERT, which also claims to be based in England, offers returns ranging from 104% to 3,000% after one to 30 days for a $500 to $100,000 deposit. INVEXPERT’s claimed investment portfolio includes start-up firms in Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and financial technology.

TBC promotes its own cryptocurrency, TBCoins, whose value fluctuates by the number of users, holders and investors.

The value of the so-called “abundance cryptocurrency” is claimed to never drop, continuously increasing by 1% to 5% daily until it reaches a value of 1 billion euros for every TBCoin. The value of TBCoin is derived by multiplying the number of investors by one euro.

TBC also sells investment packages for P100 to P25,000, promising a full return every 25 days, along with bonuses for recruiting members.

“Those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents of fraudulent investment schemes may be held criminally liable and penalized with a maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonment of 21 years or both under the Securities Regulation Code,” the SEC said in its advisory.

It added that scams perpetrated during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are subject to an additional two months’ imprisonment, a maximum fine of P1 million or both under the Republic Act No. 11469 or Bayanihan To Heal As One Act. — Adam J. Ang