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[Investor Alert] SEC Warns Public Against 8 Entities without License

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  • SEC has issued warnings against unlicensed entities, including 6 lending and financing companies and an investment firm.
  • The 6 lending companies were ordered to cease unfair debt collection practices, violating consumer protection regulations.
  • The investment firm, Moca Farm, offers high returns resembling a “Ponzi Scheme,” while QUICK4SPEED claims to specialize in project parts and forex trading, promising consistent profits.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have issued another set of warnings against entities operating without license. The commission has halted the operations of 6 lending and financing companies; it also issued an advisory on an investment firm and another for a business claiming it is a master trader in the forex market. 

6 Lending Firms’ Cease-and-Desist Order

The SEC Financing and Lending Companies Division has issued separate orders on June 26 to six companies; these orders direct the firms to immediately cease and desist from engaging in any unfair debt collection practices in connection to their lending activities or transactions. The directive also applies to the companies’ branches, extensions, satellite offices, units, and online lending platforms (OLPs), as well as their owners, operators, promoters, representatives, and agents.

(Read more: Leaders of Illegal Investment Scheme Arrested in Baguio)

According to the Commission, the companies have been found to have engaged in abusive collection or debt recovery practices, which is a violation of their obligation to treat their clients fairly and respectfully under SEC Memorandum Circular No. 18, Series of 2019 (MC 18) and Republic Act No. 11765, also known as the Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act (FCPA), along with its Implementing Rules and Regulations (SEC FCPA IRR).

Surity Cash Lending Corp.

It is a financial services company that has been officially registered and licensed in the Philippines on July 18, 2019–it has been on the SEC’s list of registered financial and lending companies until November 2021. The firm provides cash loan services, catering to various needs such as recurring expenses and unexpected emergencies. 

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(Read more: Crypto Hub Finance Operates Illegally, SEC Warns Investors of Ponzi Scheme)

In May 28, 2022, a user names “R. Guadario” reported and requested an investigation on the firm through the Freedom of Information (FOI) website for harassment and defamation. 

As of writing, the mobile application of the firm is no longer accessible via Google Play.

Populus Lending Corporation

The firm offers a variety of loan products, including personal loans, business loans, and auto loans, to meet different borrowing needs. The loan application requires applicants to fill out a form and submit the necessary documents.

The firm has been registered with the SEC since August 28, 2019 and was on the list until March 2022.

(Read more: SEC: 375 Individuals Facing Prosecution in Investment Scam Clampdown)

In July 2022, the office of Populus Lending Corp. was raided by the police Anti-Cybercrime Group, following customer complaints about receiving threats from the company for unpaid debts. The company’s employees are accused of shaming clients by sending profanity-laden messages.

A total of 117 employees were arrested, some of whom were caught typing obscene messages on their workstations. The employees now face charges for violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act (Republic Act 10175).

U-Peso.PH Lending Corporation

U-Peso.PH Lending Corporation is an online lending platform operating mostly on its mobile application–still accessible on Google Play as of writing. Most of the reviews on the app claim that it is a “loan shark scam.”

(Read more: SEC Issues Advisory vs Gemini Exchange for Selling Unregistered Securities in the Philippines)

The application collects data such as Borrower information including details such as the Social Security System (SSS) and job-related information; sensitive information like mobile ID, IP Base Station, device information, and potentially other confidential data. 

The application has been on the Commission’s list of registered financial and lending companies until November 2021.

FESL Lending Corp.

The corporation has been registered with the SEC since April 30, 2020 but the most recent list where it was included was in November 2021

In June 2022, the firm was also reported via the FOI website for violating the Data Privacy Act.

Philippine Microdot Financing Corp.

The firm handles the mobile lending applications Pautang Peso, Borrow Peso, King Loan, Loan peso, Lendpeso Market, Loan Quick, Cash Cloud, Cash Star, Free Peso, Going Loans, Peso Network, and Red Cash. It was still included in the SEC list of registered financial and lending firms as of November 2021

One of its lending apps, Loan Network, was previously reported through the FOI website for threatening a borrower.

Armorak Lending, Inc.

As per the records, Armorak Lending Incorporated was registered with the SEC since May 28, 2019 it handles the loan apps Ayuda and Weloan–both are no longer in Google Play Store. It was last listed in the November 2021 update.

Investment Firm

Moca Farm Dairy Inc.

In a June 2021 advisory, the SEC warned the public against “MOCA FARM/MOCA FARM DAIRY INC.” for the unauthorized solicitation of investments. According to the Commission, it has received reports and gathered information indicating that individuals or groups claiming to represent and operate under the name “MOCA FARM/MOCA FARM DAIRY INC.” are using social media platforms to entice the public to invest in their company.

(Read more: SEC Gets 8th Conviction vs Illegal Lending Firm)

The firm promises investors to earn ₱100.00 within five days or up to ₱51,600.00 within 120 days. Additionally, if an investor recruits a first-generation user, they can earn Php50.00 along with 7% of the product value and 7% of daily income. Furthermore, there is an additional 4% dividend from the daily income of two generations of users.

Moreover, the SEC noted that the investment scheme employed by Moca Farm resembles a “Ponzi Scheme,” offering high returns with little risk. Such schemes are fraudulent and unsustainable and the Commission does not authorize or endorse such practices.

Trading Firm

QUICK4SPEED

The entity QUICK4SPEED claims to specialize in providing high-quality project parts for motorcycles and cars, as well as being a master trader in the forex market. They promise consistent revenue and profits despite inflation and economic challenges. QUICK4SPEED is owned by Mr. Jowill Olasiman.

It was issued an advisory posted on June 21, where the SEC noted that it entices investors through various investment packages, promising a monthly return of 10% on the invested amount once their target profits are reached or a capital gain of 120% within one year.

Read: [Investor Alert] SEC Issues Advisories Against 10 Investment Schemes

This article is published on BitPinas: [Investor Alert] SEC Warns Public Against 8 Entities without License

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