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14 investment firms offering Ponzi schemes closed; 39 more under probe
By ANTONIO L. COLINA IV - JUNE 2, 2019 5:49 PM
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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 02 June) — Authorities in the Davao region have shut down 14 investment companies offering extraordinary returns similar to Ponzi schemes and are investigating 39 more to ensure they “comply with the government regulations, and to prevent them from turning into an investment scam,” Brig. Gen. Marcelo Morales, Director of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 said.

“That’s the target of the inter-agency task force,” he said.

The regional police and five other agencies last week set up the Inter-Agency Task Force to Prevent Fraudulent Investment Scheme following the proliferation of investment firms in the region offering returns of at least four times the amount  “donated” within a few weeks. Those who shell out money to “invest” are not issued receipts but are made to sign deeds of donation.


The regional police and five other agencies last week set up the Inter-Agency Task Force to Prevent Fraudulent Investment Scheme following the proliferation of investment firms in the region offering extraordinarily high returns in a matter of weeks. Photo Courtesy of Police Regional Office XI
Other members of the task force are the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), National Bureau of Investigation-Davao, Department of Trade and Industry-Davao 11, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and Philippine Information Agency-Davao.

MindaNews asked Morales and his spokesperson for the names of the firms that were closed but they have yet to reply as of 3 p.m. Sunday.

The SEC in its May 31 advisory, also warned the public of fraudulent investment companies that are soliciting investments online.

The SEC said the Ponzi scheme “ordinarily collapses as fast as they are created while leaving its investors behind, unable to recoup their investments.” It reminded the public that investment schemes, whether with the use of money or cryptocurrencies, are considered as securities subject to the regulatory authority of this Commission.

It said the sale of securities without a permit or license from the SEC is a violation of Section 8.1 of the Securities Regulation Code, which states that “securities shall not be sold or offered for sale or distribution within the Philippines, without a registration statement duly filed with and approved by the Commission. Prior to such sale, information on the securities, in such form and with such substance as the Commission may prescribe, shall be made available to each prospective purchaser.”

The recruitment of investor “members under the guise of sponsoring a person into the system is likewise considered a form of investment solicitation or a sale of securities,” according to SEC.

The SEC identified examples of investment companies that are soliciting investment through social media: MGA Business Enterprises, Coophub Multimedia Services, Jogle Innovative Marketing, Global Dream Zion, Grappler, Sherpan, BCT Marketing/BCT Motorcycle and Car Trading, RTM/RTM Pharmacy and General Merchandise, Diamond Marketing, Fusion Marketing, FMarket, Cirfund, Vibearn, Onepro, BCC/BCC Cosmetics Trading, Unlishop Compensation Plan Marketing, VUCC, Bitrain, TCOIN, Crowd Royals, Ada Farm Agri Venture, Nermie Marketing/Nermie Health and Beauty Products Trading.

According to SEC, the schemes by these companies include offering investment contracts in Facebook pages or secret Facebook groups and chatroom, Youtube etc; offering unrealistic return on investments ranging from 10% to 400% per month; requiring investors to pay their initial investments by depositing their money to a specific bank account, Coins.Ph account, GCash, through a money remittance company and through face-to-payment with one of the entity’s agents, and asking  investor to  send through a private message a copy of the proof of the deposit to the offeror who shall send his confirmation after validation; delivering payouts through similar methods; and claiming that they invest their funds in forex, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to justify their earning capacity.

The commission said the public could spot these fraudulent schemes when “investments sound too good to be true,” claims on website that an investment

will make “incredible gains” or has “huge upside and almost no risk,” promise of “guaranteed” returns, and pressure to buy right now. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

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There is a scam called “kapa” which is very popular around Mindanao currently. My wife has been invited to participate a number of times and folks are even asking to borrow money to “invest”. We know of one person who was willing to borrow against their house. I think we convinced them not to, but not sure. Unfortunately those who can least afford it are the ones who become victims. Glad to see authorities are aware and taking steps to protect the unknowing.

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Similar to , alifelong click where you got paid to click on something within a time frame. Yes many people made money at the start and these were used to praise the scheme which collapsed.

Everyone who needs some extra peso is curious and if all what's put on line looks good then they will sell "ate" hat to to get on it but in the end no return.

Again when desperate it's easy to fool. 

 

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5 hours ago, nor cal mike said:

There is a scam called “kapa”

That one is also under investigation and they have issued an arrest warrant for the CEO but it has not been delivered to the police yet. I heard of Kappa 3 weeks ago and knew it was a ponzi scheme. My friend's sister in Mindanao wanted to borrow to put in and was told no. They are offering around 1500 pesos per month for an investment of 5000 pesos.

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Unfortunately many locals are right into get rich now type of thinking. These people create an environment  where Ponzi screams can flourish, wonder how many operate undelr the radar. 

Where I am there is  a shop where lots of locals gather, some kind of number game, seems just P5 is enough to bet.

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Gf has been stupid enough to invest in one of these schemes,  the worrying part is that the church is involved somehow 

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1 hour ago, bastonjock said:

the worrying part is that the church is involved somehow 

:smile: That my friend is No surprise :whistling:

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One of our nieces was telling my wife about a wonderful opportunity to make huge profits.  I do not remember the exact numbers, but it may have been 20% per month return.  When my wife explained to the niece that it was a ponzi scheme, how they worked, and how only the first investors would get any money back and only if they quickly took back the principle and the interest.   Her response; "So we need to invest quickly?" :571c66d400c8c_1(103):

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22 hours ago, bastonjock said:

Gf has been stupid enough to invest in one of these schemes,  the worrying part is that the church is involved somehow 

Luckily I have been able to talk my GF out of investing in these stupid things. She has thanked me afterwards but still gets tempted when they come up one in a while.:tongue:

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Looks like two more of these made the news.

https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1809074/Cebu/Local-News/2-firms-in-Cebu-not-authorized-to-accept-investors-money

AS HUNDREDS of members await their payout, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Cebu extension office cautioned the public against investing their hard-earned money in two companies holding office in Mandaue City, Cebu.

Lawyer Alma Estrada-Dalena, SEC Cebu extension office Securities Counsel I, told SunStar Cebu that Ada Farm Agri Ventures is not registered with the commission and Organico Agribusiness Ventures Corp. does not have a secondary license to accept investments. 

“We received a lot of inquiries about the legitimacy of Organico and one about Ada Farm. There were a lot of complaints against us on why they were given a certification of incorporation and the answer to that is because the Articles of Incorporation they submitted to the office were right. We wouldn’t know if they are lying and their goal is to scam the people,” she said in Cebuano.

SunStar Cebu tried to get the side of both Organico and ADA Farm Cebu through a phone interview and via social media, respectively, on Friday, June 7, 2019, but the personnel of both companies refused to comment on the matter.

“We will not comment, ma’am. Thank you,” an employee of the office of Organico said.

In a Facebook personal message, ADA Farm Cebu said it will only answer questions in their office.

In an advisory posted on their website on May 31, 2019, the SEC said Ada Farm entices the public to invest by purchasing a minimum of 10 chicks worth P500 with a guaranteed profit of 80 percent in 60 days.

“The public is hereby informed that Ada Farm is not registered with the Commission as a corporation or partnership and is NOT authorized to offer, solicit, sell or distribute any investment/securities. Such activities require a Secondary License from the Commission and the securities or investment product should likewise be registered with the SEC before they can be offered or sold to the public,” the advisory read.

Organico, on the other hand, is SEC registered but doesn’t have authorization to take investments.

In a May 21, 2018 advisory, the commission stated that Organico “is engaged in soliciting investment wherein an investor must invest in at least 10 shares, with one share costing P1,800. For every share, an investor gets P450 every 15 days or a total of P2,700 in three months.”

“Allegedly, the money invested will be used to fund the company’s diverse businesses, which include organic farming, organic poultry, organic piggery, restaurant serving organic food, telemarketing, music studio and construction and eventually, an organic meat shop. Another investment scheme is the 90-day investment, where for every P3,600 invested, one piglet is raised and sold after three months and the investor gets his money back with profit for a total of P7,000,” the statement added.

For violating the law, Dalena said they can recommend to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to file complaints against companies offering questionable investment schemes if there are complainants.

“We can recommend to DOJ to file this case and the DOJ will be the one to take care of it,” she said. “We are a regulatory body but we don’t have judicial powers. However, we can recommend possible cases to DOJ.”

Dalena cited the Aman Futures pyramid scam where investors from Pagadian City, Visayas and other parts of Mindanao lost P12 billion.

Dalena said Aman Futures was statistically bound to collapse.

“It was pyramiding. Look at Kapa. Why did they come here? Because they already recruited almost everyone in Mindanao to continue paying their members or giving them ‘blessings’ so they have to move to another place. Eventually, if they manage to recruit the whole Philippines, it’s bound to fall,” she said.

Kapa Community Ministry International Inc. (Kapa) is an independent religious corporation based in Bislig, Surigao del Norte, which has branched out to various areas in the Visayas, including Compostela, Cebu.

It is allegedly involved in unauthorized financial investment schemes that promise 30-percent monthly returns, prompting the region’s top police official to warn policemen not to engage with Kapa.

Dalena said they don’t want anyone to fall prey to investment scams, so they are strengthening their information drive.

She also encouraged the local government units to reach out to people in the barangays to caution them against these schemes. (WBS)

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