AMID the recent concerns on investment scams raised by the public, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), being the supervisor of the corporate sector, is sternly warning Negrenses to be cautious of companies inviting them to invest in "easy-get-rich" schemes.

The public is reminded not to be swayed by entities presenting them the green registration certificate while claiming that since they are SEC-registered, they can now do whatever they want including soliciting or offering investment.

SEC-Bacolod, in a statement, said such registration with the commission only grants juridical personality to the corporation, but it does not authorize it to issue, sell or offer for sale securities to the public.

"While these entities may claim that they are not offering investments to the public, it is best to know whether the same is an investment contract or not," it said.

Applying the Howey Test in determining whether or not an investment contract exists, the SEC said the following elements must concur: (1) a contract, transaction, or scheme; (2) an investment money; investment is made in a common enterprise; (3) expectation of profits; (4) and profits arising primarily from the efforts of others.

Another test can be used to determine whether the scheme used is pyramiding or not.

This is through Koscot Test, which comprises the following elements: (1) payment of money to the company; (2) the participant receives the right to sell a product (or service); (3) the participant receives compensation for recruiting others into the program; and (4) the compensation is unrelated to the sale of products (or services) to the ultimate user.

The SEC said it learned that in Bacolod City and towns of Murcia and La Castellana, as well as some parts of Negros Occidental, there is a certain corporation allegedly enticing the public to invest with a promise of high interest after a certain period.

This corporation presents to the public its Certificate of Registration and Affidavit of Accuracy of Contents to allegedly solicit the investment and introduce its business.

This corporation claims to have products to sell, but in its advertisements, it only shows its "pay-out scheme" and no products were introduced, the commission said.

"The public is advised to always check with the SEC of the status of the corporation," it said, adding that the hotlines and emails of SEC-Bacolod are always open and responds within a reasonable time to queries from the public and its clients.

Its contact numbers are 445-5714 / 445-5713 / 09616035772 /09055688256 while its email addresses are and