THE SECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) is advising the public to exercise caution against several companies that have been illegally soliciting investments.

In separate advisories posted on its website, the commission warned the public not to invest in JY Beauty and Fashion Marketing, G.M. Pineda Construction and Development, and Shantal Group of Companies since they may be operating investment scams.

JY Beauty was found to be encouraging the public through social media to invest at least P5,000, with the promise of multiplying an investor’s capital by six times after a month or less.

The entity claims to have a Certificate of Business Name registration from the Department of Trade and Industry, but the commission noted that it is not a duly registered company. JY Beauty further does not have the license to offer investments to the public.

Meanwhile, G.M. Pineda allegedly attracts the public to invest money over a six-month period, in exchange for 15-20% interest per month. Investors were found to be given postdated checks for their guaranteed returns.

The Shantal Group of Companies, also operating under the names Shantal Business Center, and Shantal King Marketing and Remittance Center,

The SEC found Shantal to be promising 40% returns on an investment of at least P5,000 up to P20 million, where investors have the option to have weekly or monthly payouts.

The group also offers what it called a Revolving Fund Scheme, where P5,000 could turn into P20,000 in a span of seven working days, while P20,000 could turn into P60,000 after 15 working days.

The commission warned that none of the three entities are registered with the commission, nor do they have the authority to offer and sell securities to the public.

Salesmen, brokers, dealers, or agents of the mentioned groups could face a maximum fine of P5 million or a penalty of up to 21 years in prison, or both, under the Securities Regulation Code (SRC).

People who invite or recruit others to join in such investment schemes may also be fined or sanctioned, as per the SRC. — Arra B. Francia