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Agency urges public not to invest in 5 firms

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has raised the red flag against five entities allegedly soliciting investments even without the necessary licenses.

In an advisory released Monday, the SEC identified the five as the World of Survey (WOS), Hogpong ng Pagtutulungan (HNP), Cristiano Alberto Real Estate Fund (CareFund), Mining City, and Hoton Retail and Services Inc. (Hoton).

“We are reminding the public to exercise caution in dealing with individuals or groups soliciting investments for and on their (entities’) behalf,” the agency said as the agency confirmed these did not have licenses to solicit investments.

Under SEC regulations, entities that want to engage in investment solicitation, aside from securing certificates of registration, are also required to secure secondary licenses.

A person who wants to invest in WOS is required to pay P1,000 for an account and can avail of a maximum of 50 accounts. To earn P1,500, the person will need to answer five surveys in five days; P100 for every recruit, another P500 in “matching sales bonus” for every pairing in his/her structure” but not exceeding P1,000 a day, and 10 per level between 2nd and 12th levelsas “leveling bonus or leadership rewards.”

HNP, on the other hand, was luring investors, particularly seafarers to obtain loans between P20,000 and P80,000 with an interest rate range of 3%-5% monthly. But before the borrower could obtain a loan, he must first pay P1,000 in membership fee as the amount will be divided between the company and the one who referred him. By the time the loan is fully paid, the recruiter then gets another commission and the one who borrowed will then be allowed to invest at least $400 with the promise that the amount will earn for the investor 60% a month without doing anything.

CareFund, on the other hand, based on its website carefund.net, promises as high as 45% in income plus return of capital after two years; while Mining City, based on its website and social media accounts, an investor is allowed to choose from its Bitcoin Vault Plans of Primary ($300), Standard ($600), Bronze ($1,200), Silver (2,400), Gold ($4,200) and Platinum ($12,600). The investors are promised an earning of between $1.5 to $92 daily for 1,100 days dependent on the investments. They can also earn from referral and “direct and indirect binary.”

However, the SEC said that Mining City “does not appear among the registered banks, exchanges or companies engaged in digital assets with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas” based on its regulations as these entities are “to obtain a Certificate of Registration to operate as remittance and transfer company pursuant to the BSP rules and regulations.”

Hoton, on the other hand, are urging investors to become partners in its Hoton Franchise Partnership Program for a minimum amount of P100,000 equivalent to one unit and that the person can acquire up to 14 units. Investors are “guaranteed return of 1% per month or 12% per annum for 60 months, 40% per annum profit sharing (this will be divided into 140 units) and 100% capital guaranteed return to investors after the lapse of 5 years.”

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