THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned the investing public against 14 online investment scams, including entities riding on the growing popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to lure investors.
The country’s corporate regulator advised against investing in the following entities: NewG, Smart Capital, Gener8X, Paid2Prosper, CMT (Coins and Mining Trading), PSO (PSOPOWER Apps), TradeConnect, IronTrading (Team Bangon), ExpertTrading, OneCash, Lucky Coins, Miner’s Investment Group,
Digital Coin Trading, and All Pal for All Seasons.
The commission said the companies have been soliciting investments from the public through social networking site Facebook, promising returns of as high as 200% per month. The mentioned entities allegedly claim that funds from investors will be converted into cryptocurrency, thus justifying the investment’s earning capacity.
The SEC emphasized that none of the firms are registered with the commission, nor are they allowed to solicit investments from the public as they have no prior registration and/or license to engage in such activities.
As per the Securities Regulation Code, people who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers, or agents of the companies may be penalized with a maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonment of 21 years, or both.
Similarly, those found to be inviting the public to join such investment scams may also be held criminally liable or be sanctioned in accordance with the law.
Meanwhile, the SEC also cautioned against Internet-based Bitcoin and cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes, where entities usually offer investments in cryptocurrencies to yield high returns in a short period of time.
“This investment scheme ordinarily collapses as fast as they are created while leaving its investors behind and unable to recoup their investments,” the SEC said.
The commission said that such entities, as well as their investment offers, are not registered with the SEC.
“The public is hereby advised to exercise prudence before investing in these kinds of activities and to take the necessary precaution in dealing with these unregistered investment entities,” the SEC said. — Arra B. Francia