400% increase in scam, fraud entities

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | November 08,2020 - 03:10 PM
400% increase in fraud entities in Cebu

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CEBU CITY, Philippines — Authorities remind Cebuanos once again to be wary of investment offerings while quarantine restrictions are still in place.

This after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) posted a 400 percent increase in the number of fraudulent entities, and scam groups reported to their office during 2020’s first 10 months, based on the advisories posted in their website.

In a statement dated November 8, 2020, SEC – Cebu Extension Office (SEC-Cebu) said their agency observed a meteoric rise in investment scams and other types of fraudulent activities in the entire country for this year compared to those recorded in 2019.

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“From January to October 2020, the Commission identified over 100 fraudulent individuals or entities and have released advisories about the matter on their official website. As of writing, 200 advisories have been posted on the website for this year. This is a much higher number compared to 2019,” the agency said.

Lawyer Alma Marie Estrada-Dalena, officer-in-charge of SEC-Cebu, said unscrupulous individuals were taking advantage of the pandemic to dupe 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. The SEC registration only grants juridical personality, but a secondary license is required if they want to engage in investment taking.” Dalena said.

Aside from the traditional Ponzi and pyramiding schemes, fraudsters, according to SEC-Cebu, use cryptocurrencies and forex trading as fronts for their illegal activities and as means to mislead investors.

“The Securities Regulation Code (SRC) requires that the offer or sale of securities must be duly registered with the Commission. The entity and its agents who offer securities for sale must also be licensed to do so,” they said.

“The public may report a scam to [email protected] or [email protected] They may also access the full list of fraudulent entities identified by the Commission on the Advisories page of the SEC official website,” they added.

SEC-Cebu’s reminders were in line with the commission’s 84th anniversary commemoration wherein they will be holding month-long activities, including Investor Protection Week. /dbs

RELATED STORY: SEC flags down more investment, scam groups

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TAGS: 400% increase in fraud entities in Cebu, Cebu City, fraudulent activities in Cebu, SEC, SEC-Cebu, SEC-Cebu Extension Office, Securities and Exchange Commission

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