THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to discover more groups that offer investment schemes to the public without proper licenses from the regulator.

Three new advisories were posted on the SEC website against groups with the following names: OnlineBiz or OnlineBiz E-Commerce; Accelerare, Accelerare PH, Accelerare Main PH, Accelerare Care Trading, or Accelerare Forex Trading; and Legit Payout or Legit Pay Out.

These three, the SEC said, are not registered with the commission and do not have the secondary authorization required for companies to solicit investments from the public.

People are advised to “exercise caution in dealing with any individuals or group of persons soliciting investments for and on behalf of said (entities).”

The SEC said OnlineBiz operates by offering a “business opportunity” which requires a minimum investment of P19,000 and guarantees a P5,000-P50,000 earning every week. The scheme also promises insurance and free travels for investors.

The regulator noted the scheme OnlineBiz employs is similar to that of Elite Entrep Blue Print, which it had previously warned the public against. It said it might be the same group as the Facebook page of OnlineBiz also carries the name Elite Entrep Blue Print in its posts.

“The public is hereby informed that OnlineBiz/OnlineBiz E-Commerce is not registered with the commission and is not authorized to solicit investments from the public, not having secured prior registration and/or license to sell securities or solicit investments…,” it said.

In the case of Accelerare, the SEC said the scheme involves getting loan investors to fund the business venture’s needs in car trading and foreign exchange trading. An investor is promised passive income through interest or payout of capital, and active income through recruitment bonuses.

“It must be clear that entities engaged in such activities (high rates of return with little to no risks) likely tend to disappear shortly to the prejudice of their stakeholders… [T]he commission encourages the public to be prudent in making or placing their monies on these entities especially during this pandemic,” it said.

Legit Payout similarly promises a “ridiculous rate of return with little or no risk,” enticing the public to invest as low as P1,000 in exchange of a 60% return of investment on top of the money invested within two weeks.

The SEC said the group is not authorized to do this, as it is not registered with the commission and does not have the secondary license needed to solicit investments.

For violation of the Securities Regulation Code, the SEC said persons behind these groups may be penalized with a fine of up to P5 million, or imprisonment of up to 21 years, or both. — Denise A. Valdez