SEC warns vs online Ponzi schemes

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Securities and Exchange Commission

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned the public against so-called online “paluwagan” schemes that collect money from investors with the promise of high returns within a short period of time.

In an advisory posted on its website, the country’s corporate regulator listed 30 social media accounts which it described as a Ponzi scheme, or a fraudulent investment operation where old investors are paid off using payments from new investors instead of real cash-generating business activities.

Administrators of the social media accounts were found to follow a scheduled collection of money from their respective members through remittances, wire transfer, and cash deposits, among others. The SEC noted that the social media accounts were also widely used for the promotion and operation of the scheme.

In exchange, members are promised high returns ranging from 10% to 757% in a span of one to ninety days, based on their payout schedule.

“Unfortunately, many of their respective members incurred huge loss of money and the administrators were reportedly unable to refund their investments. In view thereof, the public is hereby advised to stop investing in these kinds of activities and to take necessary precaution in dealing with these groups or their representatives,” the SEC said.

The SEC has continuously been tracking down investment schemes without prior registration with the commission. People found to act as salesmen, brokers, dealers, or agents in such schemes may face fines of up to P5 million, or jailed for a maximum of 21 years, as per the Securities Regulation Code.

People found to be inviting the public to join these illegal investments may also be held criminally liable or be sanctioned in accordance with the law.

In addition, the SEC noted that the names of people involved in illegal investments will be submitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue for the proper assessment of their penalties and/or taxes. — Arra B. Francia

The social media accounts are as follows:

1. Road To Stockmarket/Dream Builders — Rtsm 2;
2. Steady Money Onpal;
3. G-Funds;
4. Team Amazing Grace;
5. Donatos Team — Gig;
6. Team Donatos;
7. Building Bridge;
8. Gbs New Hope;
9. Gbs Trust Traders;
10. Whilmz Team International;
11. Whilmz International Online Paluwagan;
12. Rosca — Money’s Worth Onpal;
13. Warriors Team Onpal;
14. Team Warriors;
15. Xplosion;
16. Red Packet;
17. Elite Savers Club;
18. Share Ko Profit Ko;
19. Sutm & Boj;
20. Real Team Angel International;
21. Original Team Angels;
22. Return Of The Comeback Team Angels Internationals;
23. Cone Weekly Investment;
24. 2do Marketing Services;
25. Power7 M2g;
26. Onpal Adhoc;
27. Swift Earners Guild;
28. Exclusive Circle Of Earners;
29. Old Tbc; and
30. Lover’s Profit Sharing.