CEBU CITY: The Securities and Exchange Commission–Cebu Extension Office (SEC-CEO) on Sunday warned the public against illegal investment schemes using cryptocurrencies and foreign exchange trading using online platform but are not registered with the government.
Lawyer Alma Marie Estrada-Dalena, SEC-CEO officer-in-charge, said the commission has noticed a rise in investment scam cases during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Apart from the traditional Ponzi and pyramiding schemes, Dalena said there are entities that have diversified into other illegal schemes such as cryptocurrencies and forex trading using the social media and internet platforms to entice investors.
“People should think twice before making any investment, especially if an entity is offering unreasonably high returns. We want to inform the investing public that the SEC registration does not authorize an entity to solicit investments,” she said.
The SEC registration only grants juridical personality, “but a secondary license is required if they want to engage in investment taking,” she added.
Dalena said the Securities Regulation Code (SRC) requires that the offer or sale of securities be duly registered with the commission, and the entity as well as its agents who offer securities for sale must also be licensed to engage in such business.
The SEC-CEO chief said that from January to October this year, they identified over 200 fraudulent individuals or entities and have released advisories about the matter on their official website.
Accordingly, there is a 400 percent increase of fraudulent entities this year as compared to 2019.
In line with SEC’s 84th anniversary, Dalena said they are celebrating the Investor Protection Week pursuant to Proclamation No. 846 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte on Nov. 15, 2019. She said they aim to educate would-be investors against entities that are taking advantage of the pandemic.
“We are inviting the public to join us in our month-long activities for Investor Protection Week. They may email us at email@example.com to register to any of the webinars organized by our office,” she said, adding that prospective investors may also visit the Facebook page at facebook.com/PhilippineSEC for additional updates.
Also, victims of investment scam may also report their case to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.Dalena also urged Cebuanos to access the full list of fraudulent entities identified by the Commission on the advisories page of its official website, which they may access via link: https://sec.gov.ph/investors-education-and-information/advisories/. SOVEREIGNPH