Scam warning: Please pass on

BIZLINKS - Rey Gamboa (The Philippine Star) - August 12, 2015 - 10:00am

It is disheartening to note that thousands of our kababayan still get victimized by unscrupulous groups despite stories of investment scams and pyramiding schemes. These groups take advantage of the limited knowledge of potential victims on financial matters. Very attractive targets are OFWs families who receive extra money from overseas.

Common reasons cited by victims is the lack of information on the names of companies suspected of being involved in unauthorized investment schemes as well as guidelines on what proposed financial arrangements or commitments should be avoided or should be refused outright.

SEC warning list

To assist SEC in disseminating information to the investing public, below are some of the financial scams the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has identified, with a short description courtesy of clipseum.com. 

Of course these companies have the right to appeal to SEC to be removed from this list.

Since the Philippines is still largely a newspaper-based knowledge population, please clip this column and pass on. Here’s hoping people will heed these SEC warnings. 

1) Emgoldex Philippines changed its name to Global Intergold. It entices people to invest money in return for eye-popping profits. For instance, your P1,000 would earn between P5,000 to P10,000 or your P35,000 would give you P180,000 to P360,000. However, it is not registered and licensed to solicit investments. It exhibits four signs that should scare genuine investors – the rush to invest now, the use of jargon to discuss the complex product, the high return for zero to low risk, and the lack of registration/license. 

2) One Lighting Corporation has been classified by the SEC as a pyramiding company. The company invites people to buy its healthcare and cosmetic products, which cost between P1,500 to P766,500, by enticing them with about five percent of one-time referral rewards, two percent of initial pay-in, and profit sharing of 30 percent. It is considered as a pyramiding company because of its structure that enables those in the top tier to earn more, with the pyramid eventually collapsing when those at the bottom earn nothing.

3) Satarah Wellness Marketing was also issued an advisory by the SEC on March 26. The company attracts investors by promising a four percent to 26 percent interest and a referral rate ranging from four percent to 12 percent on the investors’ placement fees. However, they are not registered or licensed to solicit investments from the public.

4) GoldExtreme Trading Co. operates more or less like EmGoldex (now Global Intergold), but demands cheaper investments, starting at P5,000 for Level 1. To reach a higher level, customers have to recruit more people and get as much as 400 percent of their investment, or around P25,000 in profits, which could be in cash or gold.

5) Success200 International Marketing Corporation requires investors to invest P1,800 to P36,000 and promises profits between P10,000 and P200,000. It claims to be a distribution and marketing company as it provides products in return for the investment. Success200 is not registered or licensed to accept investments from the public. However, the company denied any involvement with investment scams because even if they get P1,800 from their members, the company gives them a product in return.

6) J79 Galore Online Marketing is not registered with the SEC as a partnership or corporation. It is said to be recruiting people who must pay P3,000 to earn P15,000 after convincing a few people to join as an investor. It is not allowed to solicit investments from the public.

7) Bagong Lahi Filipino Development Foundation, Inc. convinces investors to pour money for a project development. However, the company was already in hot water with the revocation of its registration in 2008 when it was found to be misrepresenting what it could offer to the public. SEC has issued a warning against the company for continuing to accept investments from people.

8) F.L.A.G. Prosperity Marketing Inc. entices people to invest at least P1,500 to earn P2,200. SEC warned the public against the company for securing investments without the proper license, permit, and registration.

9) One Dream Global Marketing Inc. asks investors for P888 so they can join One Dream and get one “slot” with a payout of P1,300 in as fast as four days. Those who invest P1,776 will earn P2,517.60. For every recruit, they earn P44 each. However, some investors voiced their concerns over not getting a payout and discovered the company is sitting on top of a P3-billion investment scam.

10) Hyper Program International Direct Sales reaches out to potential investors through social media and entices them to invest in health products and cosmetics. It promises a 30-to 35-percent profit on their investment within 40 to 45 days. However, just like the other companies in this list, it failed to register and get the appropriate license.

11) Klikmart Shopping Club or Klikmart Rewards encourages people to invest P1,500 and wait for it to grow by 33 percent to P2,000 within 21 to 30 days, after a successful recruitment. The maximum investment required is P15,000 daily. However, the company is not authorized to solicit and accept investments from anyone as it does not have a license from the SEC.

12) Mutual Universe requires its investors to invest P7,499 as an initial investment for them to earn P40,000 to P120,000. Their terms and conditions offer no assurance to their investors as there is no guarantee they will be making the same money as the other investors, as their past earnings, or as those stated in income statements. Moreover, Mutual Universe is not licensed as an issuer of mutual funds by the SEC.

13) Recaneli Philippines/Philippines Recaneli Mother International Foundation the Voice for Global Solutions on Poverty asks for P1,500 to P20,000 as “pledges” from people in exchange for getting checkbooks issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). P1,500 will get a P10 million award; P10,000 will get a P50 million award; and P50,000 will get a P1 billion award. However, the foundation is not licensed by the SEC to collect pledges or investments from the public.

14) Grandtime Automobile, Grand Time or GTAoperates with three parts: Jumpstart, Main Turbo, and VIP turbo. Each has three laps. Those who are interested must pay P1, 500 as an entry fee to qualify for Jumpstart, with a return of P1, 200 after filling all three slots in the table’s third level, totaling to P3,600 in return, plus P100 as a referral fee for the recruiter. To exit, the member must recruit two new people, who also have to bring in two recruits each. Like all the other companies

15) Grand Alliance of Business Leaders Association Inc. or GABAI entices investors with a promise of a 20- to 40-percent interest every week, as it is required to invest P350 to P35,000 daily. SEC classified these investments as “securities,” but GABAI is not licensed to sell securities to the public by the Commission.

16) Xinagasia Marketing, Xinagasia Lending and Investors Corp. or Xinagasia Invest & Trust Bank Corp. offers bonds described as Cooperate Bond Notes to the public. SEC qualifies these bonds as “securities,” which should be registered with the Commission before being sold to the public. Xinagasia Marketing Corporation is registered with the SEC to trade and market goods, but not to issue securities.

17) Honesty, Unity, Love and Loyalty for Self-Reliance Association or HULL is registered with the SEC, but is not licensed to lend money to the public. Moreover, it is not certified by the Monetary Board of the BSP to manage the savings of its members and use such savings to provide home building and development or financial assistance of households.

Please pass on!

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Should you wish to share any insights, write me at Link Edge, 25th Floor, 139 Corporate Center, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City. Or e-mail me at reydgamboa@yahoo.com. For a compilation of previous articles, visit www.BizlinksPhilippines.net.

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