THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned the public anew of groups peddling shady investments without authorization from the government.

The commission on Friday said it released separate advisories flagging the Bayanihan Program of a certain Billy Ford Delos Santos Andrada, My Gold Rev or My Gold Rev Philippines, Friend$hip or Friend$hip Philippines, and World of Captcha (WOC).

These four groups have no licenses to solicit investments from the public, nor have registered securities, such as investment contracts.

Also, they are not registered as corporations or partnerships with the SEC.

Billy Ford Andrada through his Bayanihan Program is soliciting a minimum investment of P2,000, promising a 50% return and 5% direct referral bonus.

He is also running promotions for a 15% direct commission and a P300 bonus for every investment of P2,000 during this quarantine period.

Mr. Andrada was earlier identified by SEC as the owner of Billford Trading and Bill Ford VIP Trading, Inc., that is engaged in investment-solicitation activities in the guise of a piggery business.

My Gold Rev offers business plans for $20 to $100,00 in which investors may allegedly earn a daily profit of 2% to 3.5% for 80 to 100 days or a 260% to 450% return on investment.

Friend$hip, a company led by a certain Rodnelio “Ron” Chang Capua, collects a subscription fee of $7.99 or P385. Members receive $1 for every referral in the first to the fifth levels of their network.

The group, which is supposedly based in New Jersey in the United States, recently launched its subscription plan with a landing page at $11 or P935. Under this plan, investors may earn $1 per successful referral and another $1 for every purchased landing page up to the fifth level.

Meanwhile, WOC, which operates as an online business, is offering plans worth P200 to P1,000 where members could supposedly earn P300 to P1,500 by typing CAPTCHA (completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart), a form of online verification process.

Additionally, the group promises bonuses ranging from P20 to P100 for direct referrals and P5 to P25 for indirect referrals up to the fifth level.

It also offers a program where members can purchase 75 codes and get 10 free codes for P15,000 for the purpose of reselling them.

Both plans, which expire after eight days, lead members to purchase new plans, or upgrade to continue earning under the scheme headed by a certain Charles Serrano.

The SEC warned that those behind these groups may be fined up to P5 million, imprisoned for up to 21 years, or both under the Securities Regulation Code. — Adam J. Ang