THE Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) has warned the public over the proliferation of bogus crypto investments, especially amid the holiday season.

ACG Director Brigadier General Joel Doria said online scammers were working double time to scam people of their hard-earned money, especially as people receive their year-end bonuses.

“Everyone [has] to be cautious in making online crypto investments. In their new modus operandi, scammers are now creatively enticing potential victims by offering ‘fake’ crypto investments,” he said.

“The modus is for potential investors to download a specific crypto app, which when installed will require them to cash in their investments in digital wallets listed in the application,” he added.

Doria said the account holders will be able to see the amount of money they have invested and the high interest their money has earned over time.

Considering the growing interest their money has generated in a short period of time, they will be enticed to invest more and more money but when they try to withdraw it, the apps will not allow them to do so.

“This is how investors realize they have been victims of a crypto investment scam,” said Doria.

ACG chief of the Cyber Financial Crime Unit Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bongayon said scammers also dupe their victims by presenting fictitious Department of Trade and Industry and Securities and Exchange Commission registration.

Doria urged potential investors to visit the website of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to see the list of regulated virtual asset service providers to avoid being scammed. (SunStar Philippines)