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Editing by Nathaniel Cajuday
About 1,000 individuals have been reported to have fallen victim to an alleged investment scheme leveraging cryptocurrency through a mobile application. Most of the victims invested their life savings.
In a report from GMA News’ “24 Oras” last Wednesday, November 23, victims aliased John and Ced shared how they were enticed to invest thousands of dollars in virtual currency in an application, which just shut down last November 5th.
The two victims claim to have invested a total of $11,000, or more than ₱600,000, in July. John and his friends invested $8,000 (approximately ₱500,000) while Ced put in $3,000, or around ₱170,000.
Whereas John revealed that he initially received a $75,000 investment return, he still lost the majority of his investments.
And with the hope of getting at least an explanation, the victims tried to reach the manager of the mobile application, who was known as “Miss Liza,” but she did not respond at all.
“Di ko alam paano ako makakarecover,” said Ced.
[ ”I don’t know how to recover from this.” ]
He also disclosed that the managers informed the victims they had already “managed the quota” for the mobile application and even had a party for it.
“Na-manage na raw nila ‘yung quota at nagkaroon na raw sila ng party. ‘Yun ‘yung masakit. Wala, tutulo lang (ang) luha mo. Magagalit ka syempre, dun napatunayan na talagang scam ‘yung application. Hindi na pwede i-withdraw ‘yun. Wala nang chance,” he added.
[ “They told us that they already managed to reach the quota and they had a party about that. That hurts. You can do nothing but cry and get angry because that proves the application was a scam. We will never get our money back.” ]
Following this, the incident was reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
The SEC has always been active in releasing advisories and reminding the public to be cautious when dealing with financial and investment entities. In fact, for the celebration of World Investor Week last October, the SEC stressed that educating and steering the public toward legitimate investments is necessary.
The Commission also invited the public to attend its webinars and take advantage of the educational materials it has released on legitimate investments to further counter the rise of entities scamming and defrauding investors as well as to increase the knowledge of the investing public. (Read more: SEC Highlights Legitimate Investments For IOSCO World Investor Week)
For more information about the Advisories that the Commission issued against other entities, go to: https://bitpinas.com/tag/sec-advisory/
On the other hand, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Felipe Medalla reiterated that investing in cryptocurrency is “risky.” (Read more: BSP Governor Medalla Reiterates: Crypto is Risky)
Since September, the BSP and SEC, are both still seeking legislation from the senate to regulate cryptocurrencies and other digital assets properly as they still have no jurisdiction to punish scammers and fraudsters taking advantage of the new technology brought by cryptocurrency and blockchain.
Recently, Senator Risa Hontiveros unveiled a large-scale human trafficking syndicate in the country, which tricks Filipinos into believing they are being recruited to work as call center agents in Thailand, only to be recruited to become crypto scammers in Myanmar. (Read more: Sen. Hontiveros Reveals Plot to Recruit OFWs to be Crypto Scammers Abroad)
This article is published on BitPinas: Alleged Crypto Scam Deceives 1,000 Victims
Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.