SEC warns against new wave of online job scams
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched a crackdown on a wave of Ponzi-style “recharging and tasking” scams.
“The public is hereby advised not to invest or stop investing in these recharging and tasking scams and its representatives,” the corporate regulator said in a July 12 advisory.
Also known as “click fraud” and “order grabbing” scams, the recharging and tasking scheme works by luring unsuspecting victims to participate in fake online jobs, supposedly in partnership with large e-commerce platforms.
Here, they complete tasks such as helping complete e-commerce orders to earn commissions. Victims are also told to put in their own money, thus topping up or “recharging,” to earn bigger incentives.
According to the SEC, victims are offered investment packages from P100 up to P50,000 to earn commissions of 2 to 8 percent. “Invitation rewards” worth P10,000 to P100,000 are also promised if they would recruit others.
The SEC said these fraudsters were pretending to work with large e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Shopee, Lazada and Ebay.
The scam typically lasts up to a month. The websites or links used are then deactivated and perpetrators change the name of their entities and websites.
“[R]echarging and tasking scams show indication of a possible ‘Ponzi scheme’ where monies from new investors are used in paying ‘fake profits’ to prior investors and is designed mainly to favor its top recruiters and prior risk takers and is detrimental to subsequent members in case of scarcity of new investors,” the SEC said.
“The offering and selling of securities in the form of investment contracts using the ‘Ponzi scheme,’ which is fraudulent and unsustainable, is not a registrable security. The Commission will not issue a license to sell securities to the public to persons or entities that are engaged in this business or scheme,” it added.
Perpetrators face up to 21 years in prison and a maximum fine of P5 million under the Securities Regulation Code.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.