SEC issues scam warning vs 5 firms
MANILA -The Securities and Exchange Commission issued scam warning alerts against five companies that are illegally soliciting investments from the public.
In various advisories this week, the corporate watchdog said JBF Goldminer International/Gold De Luck, Melon Plus/Primelogix Marketing Inc., Pamper Me Salon and Spa, Mono Mall and Dermacare-Beyond Skin Care Solutions/Beyond Skincare Solutions were offering investment products without the necessary regulatory licenses.
By doing so, these companies and their agents, brokers, endorsers and influencers were violating the Securities Regulation Code (SRC) and Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act.
The maximum penalty outlined in both laws was a fine of P5 million or imprisonment of 21 years.
Like other scams, the firms were enticing victims to invest their money in exchange for huge returns.
The Dermacare Group, for example, is looking for investors to sign up to its “franchise partner agreement” for a guaranteed profit of 12.6 percent interest every quarter for five years, plus various product discounts, after investing at least P250,000.
The SEC said Dermacare is “not authorized to solicit investments from the public, not having secured prior registration and/or license to sell securities or solicit investments”.
Mono Mall claims they promote and help merchants increase product sales as well as sell their products through the internet. Participants get commissions of 30-60 percent of their investments by doing tasks like following users on the social media platform TikTok.
Pamper Me Salon and Spa is seeking minimum investments of P50,000, which the firm claimed will be used for its expansion activities.
The promised return was 10 percent monthly interest but the figure can rise to 25 percent or 35 percent as the investment figure increases, the SEC said.
“The Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act also prohibits investment fraud which is defined under the law as any form of deceptive solicitation of investments from the public which includes Ponzi schemes and such other schemes involving the promise or offer of profits or returns sourced from the investments or contributions made by the investors themselves and the offering or selling of investment schemes to the public without a license,” the SEC said.
“In view thereof, the public is hereby advised not to invest or to stop investing in the investment scheme being offered by Pamper Me Salon and Spa, and its representatives,” it added.
Melon Plus/Primelogix offers rewards, discounts and vouchers to investors that the SEC said shared characteristics with a pyramid scam, which users profits from new victims to earlier investors.
JBG Goldminer International and Gold De Luck is seeking investments of up to P500,000 in exchange of a daily return of 10 percent for 30 days.