April 19, 2018 – The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a public warning about 14 unregistered and illegal online investment entities operating in the country.
Issued on April 18, 2018, SEC listed 14 names that have been soliciting investments from the public.
ADAM Farm Scam and Other Illegal Investment Schemes According to SEC:
- Smart Capital
- CMT (Coins and Mining Trading)
- PSO (PSOPOWER Apps)
- IronTrading (Team Bangon)
- Lucky Coins
- Miner’s Investment Group
- Digital Coin Trading
- All Pal for All Seasons
More companies continued to be added by the SEC to list, like ADA Farm Agri Ventures, Cash Whale, LDT, Right Circle Trading, Easy Play by Jenica Reganit, etc.
All 14 companies have almost similar schemes:
- The companies give the investment contracts on social media (Facebook) through secret groups.
- They have an unrealistic returns on investments that range from 10% to 200% per month.
- Interested investors are required to pay their initial investment by depositing their money to a specific bank account, Coins.ph account, GCash, money remittance, or through a face-to-face payment via an agent.
- A proof of deposit is required and must be sent via private message. It is subject to confirmation after validation.
- Payouts are delivered using the methods mentioned above.
- The companies claim that the funds are invested in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
SEC reminded the public that investment schemes with fiat or even cryptocurrencies involved are considered securities. They are subject to the regulatory authority of the Commission. Recruitment of investor members, offering or sale of securities to the public without an appropriate permit or license from the Commission is a violation of Section 8.1 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC).
For the person/s who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers, or agents of these unregistered entities, they may be prosecuted and held criminally liable under Section 28 of SRC and be penalized with the maximum fine of Php 5,000,000 or imprisonment of 21 years or both. Likewise for the recruiters that invite people to join or invest in the unregistered venture may be held criminally liable.
SEC’s Warning on Internet-Based Ponzi Schemes
With the Php 900 million alleged mastermind of a bitcoin pyramiding scheme under custody, SEC also released a warning about internet-based bitcoin and cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes. They gave out 12 characterizations that the public needs to be aware of.
- They are not registered;
- The investment offer is also not SEC-registered.
- They claim cryptocurrency investments will earn guaranteed profits.
- They offer huge profits within a short period of time.
- Uses a binary network (i.e. upline and downline) to earn commissions.
- They operate without paperwork such as receipts and contracts.
- Promises little to no risk.
- They have a lock-up period where the investor cannot touch the investment. (i.e. 60 days)
- Promises pay-off of investments in a short time.
- They use high-pressure methods to convince investors to reinvest.
- The information about their principal office, address, founders, directors, or officers are nowhere to be found.
- Orientation seminars are held informally.
Aside from the warnings given above by SEC, the regulator also urges the public to coordinate with the Enforcement and Investor Protection Department in case they have any information about the entities mentioned above and other schemes. They can call 818-6047 or email email@example.com
This article is published on BitPinas: SEC Releases Names of 14 Unregistered Illegal Investment Schemes in the Country | Ada Farm Scam, OneCash, NewG, Etc