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Investors beware: SEC raises red flag over Paysmart

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a warning to the public against investing in Paysmart Limited Philippines, a company which claims to be involved in offshore trading of stocks.

In a statement, the SEC said it received reports of sales of securities from a certain group called Paysmart, which is not registered with the SEC and is therefore unauthorized to conduct such activity.

“Per records of the Securities and Exchange Commission, PAYSMART is not registered as a corporation or partnership and is not authorized to solicit investments from the public as the above-mentioned entity did not secure prior registration and/or license to solicit investment from the Commission,” the SEC said.

Apparently, the SEC has been told that Paysmart facilitates an offer of 30% return on investment (ROI) within 15 days for its customers, and 60% ROI in 60 days. It said, the company allows for a minimum investment of $23 and a maximum of $9,000.

The SEC noted this may be tagged as Fraudulent Investment Schemes, as the selling of securities must always involve a SEC-registered corporation and must get clearance from the government to do so.

The SEC said criminal charges may be filed against perpetrators for violating the Supreme Court decision in the case of SEC vs. Oudine Santos (G.R. No. 195542, March 19, 2014), which set the precedent for cases of fraudulent investment transactions.

It also reminded the public that before investing in corporations, individuals may first check through the SEC’s Corporate Governance and Finance Department or its Market and Securities Regulation Department if a securities sale is registered. — Denise A. Valdez