Friday, July 19, 2019

Councilor warns investment scams in social media

CAGAYAN de Oro City Councilor George Goking reminds the public not to be easily swayed with promises on social media about investing a certain amount of money and getting larger sums in return.

This after more than 100 people stormed into a house in Barangay Kauswagan, demanding their investment returns from a certain person whom they gave their money to.

Goking, chairperson of the trade and commerce committee, refused to identify the person allegedly offering “small-time” investment scams, but said the person was luring social media users to invest P1,000 and get P6,000 within six days only.

“Ang mga tao (The people), more than 100 of them, nisulong gyud dito sa balay sa nag-offer sa investment kay ni-demand ug payment, hapit na nagkagubot (stormed into the house of the person responsible, demanding for payments). So I called the police to disperse the persons, and I advised them to file a complaint instead, and follow due process,” he said.

The councilor yet again reminded the public not to easily believe to suspicious offers.

“Ayaw na pailad (Don’t get fooled), it’s impossible to think that you invested P1,000 and you’ll get more money in just 6 days, very impossible,” he added.

If, however, the investment was already made, Goking advised the public not to resort to violence but instead file a complaint and hold the suspect liable for doing illegal activities.

Goking was the lead councilor who investigated the Ploutos coins scam of Mark Freeman, who is now wanted for large scale swindling.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Northern Mindanao urged the public to talk to an accountant, lawyer, stockbroker, or reach out to appropriate government agencies, before making any commitments.

If you have already been swindled, the DTI said they should file a criminal complaint, and reach out to the National Bureau of Investigation.

The DTI said the most common scams encountered today is the “Ponzi Scheme”, which, according to court decisions, is an “unsustainable investment program that offers extravagantly high returns and pays these returns to early investors out of the capital contributed by later investors”.

In an online news report, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Representative Jericho Nograles has appealed on the NBI to step up efforts in dismantling the operations of Kapa Community Ministry International, Inc. another organization allegedly involved in what he termed as “large-scale investment fraud” in key cities in Mindanao, luring investors with a promise of bigger earnings.

Kapa, meanwhile, maintained that it is a “legitimate non-denominational ministry, a religious corporation organized under Philippine laws and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under Company Registration No. CN2017707724.” Kapa is an acronym meaning “Kabus Padatuon,” a term which aims the poor to become rich.

However, the SEC, recently issued a cease-and-desist order against Kapa and its subsidiaries “after finding substantial evidence that it has been offering and selling securities in the form of investment contracts without the necessary license.

Although Kapa is a registered corporation, SEC said that its certificate of incorporation dated March 3, 2017, explicitly stated that “it is not authorized to undertake business activities requiring a secondary license such as acting as broker or dealer in securities, investment house, and close-end or open-end investment company. (PJ Orias/with reports from PNA)


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