SEC warns public on popular investment traps

By Maria Aprila Cruz, PIA CAR

BAGUIO CITY – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the region warns the public to be wary of popular investment scams.

Atty. Lovely Calumnag of the SEC Cordillera during the 1st Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (RLECC) meeting for 2015 presented that the most popular investment traps are the Ponzi and Pyramiding schemes.

According to Calumnag, Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud where the operator promises high financial returns or dividends ranging from 6%-29% per month. The schemer acts as a hub for the victims interacting with all of them directly

On the other hand, a pyramid scheme is an investment fraud which rewards participants for inducing other people to join the program and is focused primarily on the exchange of money for recruitment. Those who recruit additional participants benefit directly, and failure to recruit means no investment return.

Calumnag said that the easiest way to identify pyramid scheme is the lack of legitimate product or service involved.

Ponzi and pyramid schemes she said have found their way on the internet making it hard for the scammers to be prosecuted since there is no contact with the clients and the transactions are cross-border.

Meanwhile, acting on said report, the RLECC members formed a task force to check on the operation of around 21 companies believed to be involved in investment scams operating in the region.

Task force members include the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Department of Trade and Industry, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Securities and Exchange Commission, Dept. of the Interior and Local Government, Bureau of Immigration, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the National Investigation Coordinating Authority.#