Saturday, November 27, 2021

Editorial: Another investment scam

RECENTLY, a group of investors filed a complaint against Repa/Repa Paluwagan before the Davao City Anti-Scam Unit (ASU).

ASU chief Simplicio Sagarino, in a recent interview with SunStar Davao, said their office had been receiving complaints against Repa since Friday, October 1.

Based on the initial investigation of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), those investing in Repa are promised a "40 percent interest rate of return in just a short period of time of two weeks."

"Mao na daghan naenganyo kay nakadawat man gud ang uban. Naka-receive sila sa ilahang bahin kay nindot man daw ang pagpangwarta ani. Pero karon, wala na sila nakadawat maong nagreklamo sila (Many were enticed to invest since many had received their payout. They believed that you could make money out of it. But now, they are no longer receiving their payout, which is why they are now filing complaints),” Sagarino said.

Following the complaints, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an advisory against Repa/Repa Paluwagan on October 12, 2021.

According to the SEC advisory, Repa "does not appear as a registered corporation or partnership" in their system.

"Further, it is NOT AUTHORIZED to solicit investments/placements from the public nor to issue investment contracts and other forms of securities since it has not secured prior registration and/or license from the Commission as prescribed under Sections 8 and 12 of the Securities Regulation Code," SEC said in its advisory.

It also classified Repa as a "Ponzi Scheme." This is "defined as an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by the new investors.

"They often recruit new investors by promising to invest their funds in opportunities claimed to generate high returns of investment. Thereafter, if there will be difficulties in recruiting new investors or when a large number of existing investors opt to cash out, the Ponzi scheme will collapse or result in a total breakdown and the new investors at the bottom of the line of the pyramid will not receive their returns anymore," SEC added.

SEC has advised the public not to invest or stop investing with Repa/Repa Paluwagan.

It can be mind-boggling to think that there are still people who would fall for such investment scams. ASU reported that some even invested millions into Repa hoping for high returns. As some netizens pointed out in the comment section of one of our posts on Repa, "Haven't they learned from the investment scams of 2019?"

Well, some of those investors may have been hoping to get quick cash but in the end, sadly, they may not get what they invested back. Instead of gains, many have incurred losses.

If ever you do encounter a firm similar to REPA, ask about their details like SEC registration, official address, how the money you invest will be used. You can also check with SEC if they are registered.

SEC advises the public to think, examine, and study when they come across investment schemes that offer them huge returns for the amount of money they would invest. We work hard to build up our savings, then we should also make an extra effort in knowing or understanding where we invest those earnings.


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