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SEC Davao warns public vs `advance fee loan scams’

The Securities and Exchange Commission Davao Extension Office (SEC DEO) has hoisted an alert over illegal lending schemes that have been proliferating in the region.

The warning came about after the Enforcement and Investor Protection Department of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an advisory on November 29 against people and groups who have been behind the advance fee loan scam.

“Recently, there has been a proliferation of fraudulent lending schemes in our area. We have also monitored their presence through social media posts,” said the SEC DEO whose jurisdiction covers the Davao Region, Soccsksargen, Cotabato City and the Maguindanao Provinces.

The advisory pointed out that the public must not deal with people and entities using the scheme where the would-be borrower is asked to pay a certain amount in order to avail of the loan. “However, upon payment, the loan would not be released or more reasons will be given to the victim in order to get more funds in exchange for the release of the amount loaned,” the advisory stated.

It added: “An advance-fee scam is a form of fraud and one of the most common types of confidence tricks. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster requires in order to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears”.

This scheme is a violation of Article 315 Swindling (estafa) of the Revised Penal Code and that victims can seek help from law enforcement agencies “in filing criminal complaints against perpetrators of these scams.”

The Commission is encouraging the public to “send information or reports on persons or entities engaged in the above-mentioned scheme to the Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD) at email at epd@sec.gov.ph and the Financing and Lending Companies Division at flcd_complaints@sec.gov.ph”.

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