SEC Warns Against Groups Scamming Investors During COVID-19 Pandemic

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April 6, 2020 – The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission identified groups that are riding on the COVID-19 pandemic to scam investors. The SEC strongly advises the public to exercise caution against groups offering get-rich-quick schemes.

Mag Invest Ka Online (MIK.O) is promising a 2% daily earnings or a total of 200% as mentioned on their website. The company purportedly trades Bitcoin against the US Dollar. SEC said it is not a registered corporation or partnership, which means it is also not registered as an entity licensed to solicit investments to the public.

On MIK.O’s website, there is a disclaimer that MIKO has closed operations since March 5, 2020 and that they are not offering membership to the public.

The website further claimed they are a private group and that to become a member, the person must know someone who is already a member to invite them to the group. MIK.O also claims that the website is only available as they are waiting for some of their members to break-even.

AZENZO-ONLINE claims to be an independent crowdfunding platform and has a KAPA style system of Deposit-Donation, Withdrawal-Blessing. On Facebook Posts, AZENZO Online is enticing the public to invest with a promised 30% return (blessing) in as early as 5, 10, or 15 days and a 100% “Donation Return” after 20 days.¬†AZENZO is also not a registered corporation or partnership.

Finally, there is an ongoing text scam purportedly from a President: Rodrigo Duterte  Charity Foundation. Under the scheme, a person will receive a message claiming they have won Php 750,000 from the charity through an electronic raffle.

The receiver will be instructed to send their details (such as name and address) and to immediately call an attorney that is said to be connected with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The BSP confirms this as fake. As per BSP warning dated May 13, 2015, the BSP does not sponsor or engage in any games of chance, raffle, or lottery of the nature in said TEXT SCAMS.

SEC confirms this President: Rodrigo Duterte Charity Foundation is not a registered corporation.

SEC also warned that persons acting on behalf of the said companies will be held criminally liable under the SRC as well as the recently-passed law RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. The new law penalizes those who are taking advantage of the current COVID-19 crisis to prey on the public through scams, phishing, fraudulent emails, etc. The penalty is 2 months of imprisonment or a maximum fine of Php 1 million (or both).

Those engaging in text scams can face prosecution for violation of the Revised Penal Code, the Cybercrime Law, and Data Privacy act.

SEC said it will continue to monitor investment-solicitation activities online and on the ground.

SEC Warning against MagInvest Ka Online (MIKO) here.

SEC Warning against Azenzo Online here.

SEC Warning against President: Rodrigo Duterte Charity Foundation here.

SEC press release received via email.

This article is published on BitPinas: SEC Warns Against Groups Scamming Investors During COVID-19 Pandemic

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