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SEC-DEO: Covid crisis aggravated by rise in investment scam cases

As the country continually faces the coronavirus pandemic like the rest of the world, it also faces another crisis, this time, man-made.

The office also pointed out that the situation has been doubly challenging as these entities have used the Internet in recruiting unwitting individuals, many of them poor people who have borrowed money in an attempt to earn big profits in very short periods of time.

The call is part of the observance of the first ever Investor Protection Week pursuant to Proclamation No. 846 issued by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte last November 15, 2019. A week-long information campaign will be conducted from November 9 to 13 to raise awareness about the importance of investor education and protection, and reduce the investing public’s vulnerability to fraudulent schemes.

The SEC-DEO found out that aside from using the traditional Ponzi and pyramiding schemes, some unscrupulous entities and individuals have also propagated new illegal investment schemes such as cryptocurrencies and Forex trading.

The Securities Regulation Code requires that the offer or sale of securities must be duly registered with the Commission and that the concerned entity or its agents must have appropriate registration and/or license to sell such securities. Those who want to solicit investments in forms of foreign exchange, on the other hand, also need to secure appropriate licenses from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

The SEC-DEO is calling on the public to always be prudent in dealing with recruiters because, most often, when offers are too good to be true, they really are. The office is also urging those who were lured to invest in schemes to visit its website (www.sec.gov.ph) so they would know if they are dealing with entities that are subject of SEC advisories.

It added that those who have money to invest should ensure that the platforms that they are investing in must have a good track record, and not just an overnight presence in cyberspace.

The public is urged to report unauthorized investment-taking to the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department through email at epd@sec.gov.ph.

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