Online Investment Scams You Need To Watch Out For

Technology has its ups and downs. Sure, you can connect with anyone in the world and pay bills wherever you are in the world. Unfortunately, the digital world can be a breeding ground for all things scam and illegal. If you’re not too careful, then you might end up being a victim as well. Worse, you could lose your hard-earned money and surely, you don’t want that to happen.

That being said, here are some of the online scams you need to be careful for – with tips on how to avoid them.

Online Investment Scam

This is very common. Many people are slowly considering and embracing the importance of investing money. Unfortunately and if you’re not too careful, you might end up putting your money in the wrong basket.

Below are the most common online investment scams in the Philippines:

  • Online Paluwagan – Known as onpal, this scheme regulates similar to the traditional paluwagan wherein members will take turns in receiving money from the pooled funds depending on the payout schedule. Facebook is the most common method used by onpal wherein a promise of cash deposit, remittance, or wire transfer is the mode of payment. To be able to earn more, you need to recruit members between one to 90 days. Unfortunately, many onpal members reported that they were not able to receive their money.
  • Fake Online Lending Companies – Borrowing money has never been this easy, thanks to online lending companies. Because of the popularity, scammers are enticing people to join by investing their money in micro-financing or lending companies. The pitch: you get to earn as much as 12 percent every week. This seems like a good idea and those behind the scam will pay the initial returns to make you believe that they are legitimate. Unfortunately, they’ll disappear after.
  • Paid-to-Click Programs – The concept is simple: click on online ads, log-in daily, or get referrals. Then, you’ll get paid depending on your daily turnout. While this seems like an easy way to earn money, you might end up losing more. In fact, you’ll be asked to pay a membership fee or buy advertising products, which will serve as your “share” of the profits. While this sounds tempting, there is no assurance that you will get paid – after all the effort and money you put through.
  • Offshore Stock Trading – OFWs have more dollars than peso on hand. Why not invest it, right? After all, you saw that ad on offshore investment on Facebook, which sounds promising. Unfortunately, this is a classic example of a scam since this type of investment scheme is not allowed to operate in the Philippines.
  • Bitcoin Investment – Cryptocurrency, popularly known as bitcoin, took the world by storm. Like they say, the higher you climb. the harder you fall, especially those who invested their money in this type of currency. It promises as high as 200 percent profit wherein transactions are done through mobile wallets, bank deposit, or remittance companies. The BSP considered bitcoin investment as “speculative and highly risky” that could lead to huge losses. Plus, this type of currency is not backed up any goods, company, or services unlike physical money.

Here’s the good news: there are several ways where you can protect yourself and your hard-earned money from online investment scams. The first thing you need to do is to check, read, and understand what you’re investing for.

Also, the company must be registered and authorized by the Securities and Exchange Commission to operate as an investment or lending company. Having a legitimate and registered company name is different from being allowed to operate and conduct investment operations. It must be explicitly approved by the agency.

Regularly check advisories issued by the SEC. The agency releases statements on the latest investment scams as well as companies involved in it. Keep in mind that ignorance excuses no one. Visit the website from time to time and see the latest news.

More importantly, don’t easily fall for ads that promise big returns. Return of your investment will take time, not days. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, then it is not true.

5 Steps On How To Register With PAG-IBIG Online

In 1978, the PAG-IBIG, which stands for Pagtutulungan sa Kinabukasan: Ikaw, Bangko, Industria at Gobyerno, fund was established by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 1530. Now known as Home Development Mutual Fund or HDMF, the agency aims to address the need for national savings program and affordable shelter financing for Filipinos, including Overseas Filipino Workers, both land-based and seafarers.

PAG-IBIG offers several benefits to all its members. This includes:

  • Savings through PAG-IBIG Savings I and Modified PAG-IBIG II Savings
  • Short-Term Loan through its Multi-Purpose Loan
  • Housing Loan, which has lower interest rates compared to banks and with more flexible payment terms of up to 30 years

Before you can enjoy these benefits, you need to be a member first. Once you become a member, contributions must be made religiously to be able to avail of any of these.

The good news is you can be a PAG-IBIG member easily. Here is a step-by-step procedure on how you can enroll as a new member with NO issued PAG-IBIG Membership ID or MID number:

Step 1: Visit the PAG-IBIG Fund Online Registration System

First things first. Make sure that your browser, Safari, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome has the latest version. Otherwise, the system won’t work.

Once you ensured that your browser is up-to-date, go to PAG-IBIG’s Online Registration System website. You can visit it by clicking this link.

Step 2: Fill Out The Pre-Registration Form

Supply the information being asked. Make sure that your name is according to what was written in your birth certificate. Then, click Proceed.

At this point, the system will check if you already have an existing online account with PAG-IBIG. If there is no duplicate account, then you can proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Complete the PAG-IBIG Membership Form

This can be quite extensive. On this step, you will be asked to supply information such as:

  • Name as how it appears in your birth certificate
  • Mother’s maiden name, which you can see in your birth certificate
  • Birthday and place of birth
  • Government-issued ID numbers like TIN or SSS
  • Spouse’s information
  • Complete address
  • Contact information like email address and mobile number
  • Heirs, who will become your beneficiaries in case of death
  • Employment information such as employer, employment status, and employment history

Before you click Submit Registration, make sure all of the information is correct and complete. You can click the Back button to go back to the previous tabs to make the necessary changes in your application form.

As soon as you’re done, click Submit Registration.

Step 4: Print The Member’s Data Form or MDF

Once you submit your online application form, it will display the Successful Registration Page. This informs you that you successfully registered with the HDMF Online System. Read the instructions carefully and take note of what you need to do to get your RTN.

RTN is important since you will use this as your reference when paying your contributions in lieu of your permanent PAG-IBIG number. Make sure to take note of this otherwise, contributions might not be credited to your name.

Then, click Print MDF. This will serve as proof that you registered with the PAG-IBIG system.

Step 5: Verify PAG-IBIG Number

After two working days, you can finally request for a permanent PAG-IBIG number. All you have to do is to send a text message in this format:

IDSTAT RTN BIRTHDATE in mm/dd/yyyy format

You can send it to 0917-8884363 for Globe and TM and 0918-8984363 for Smart, TNT, and Sun subscribers.

You may also call the PAG-IBIG hotline at 8-724-4244 to inquire regarding your PAG-IBIG number.

Tips To Remember When Registering Online:

  • Make sure to provide correct and complete information when filling out the online application form. Incorrect information will lead to delay, which means you won’t be able to avail of the benefits.
  • Take note of your RTN and PAG-IBIG ID number. This way, you are sure that the contributions you made will be credited to your name.
  • Payment is not necessary. In fact, registering as a new member is for free.
  • Don’t worry about documents. All you need is to fill out the application form to register as a new member.

The best part is OFWs can become PAG-IBIG members even if you are miles away. Convenient, don’t you think?

Be (More) Financially Literate With These 6 Tips

According to the Financial Capability Survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, many Filipinos were able to answer only three out of seven financial literacy questions. Worse, only a small chunk of the Filipino population perfected the questions.

What does this mean? Many Filipinos don’t know the meaning of concepts of compounded interest, investment, or the effect of inflation on prices of basic commodities. Because of this, BSP and DepEd are pushing to include Financial Education in the K to 12 curriculum.

If you’re no longer in school, then that’s fine. There are still ways to educate yourself and keep yourself in the loop when it comes to financial matters with the help of these tips.

Tip No. 1: Make sure to attend PiTaKa.

Thankfully, the BSP understood what financial illiteracy means especially for those who have no 24/7 access to information. By partnering with BDO Foundation, the agency launched its PiTaKa, Pinansyal na Talino at Kaalaman, which aims to boost OFWs financial knowledge. In fact, it is part of PDOS and will also be shown during the General Orientation for OFW families.

Through this course, you will be taught how to save regularly, spend money wisely, and tips and ideas on how to increase your income.

It may not make you financially literate overnight, but at least you have ideas on how to improve your financial standing.

You can learn more about this program through this post.

Tip No. 2: Read up.

There are tons of materials from books and resources available online. Take advantage of those information by reading as much as you can.

Familiarize yourself with various concepts like mutual funds, return of investment, and interest. Books and newspapers are good places to start but if you want faster info, then make sure you have an Internet connection. Simply type the concept you want to learn in the Google search bar and you will be shown tons of articles regarding that. Make sure you read posts from legitimate sources to ensure that you are getting information from someone reliable.

Tip No. 3: Watch financial videos.

If you’re not into reading, then watching videos about financial concepts could be helpful.

Videos are more straightforward and easier to absorb. All you need is to type on the search bar what you want to know and you will see videos related to that. Similar to articles, choose videos made by legitimate and reputable sources.

Some companies conduct webinars about certain topics, including financial management. Take advantage of that by joining those webinars. The good thing about this is that you can immediately address concerns and questions since someone is talking in front of you.

Tip No. 4: Download financial management apps.

Believe it or not, financial management apps are more than just for plotting your income and expenses. It could also give you a better understanding on the concepts since there is a practical application involved.

You may not notice it but it’s really helpful.

Tip No. 5: Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Asking questions, especially on those concerns you don’t fully understand, is not a sign of weakness. In fact, there is nothing wrong with asking.

The articles and videos will help boost financial literacy but if you want financial concepts to be explained, then make sure you talk to someone who understands. Take advantage every time you go to the bank. Clarify something. Ask questions. Admit that there certain concepts you don’t understand. It’s okay.

Tip No. 6: Start now.

Procrastinating is among the worst habits you have, especially when it comes to money. If you are serious about improving your financial literacy, then you need to stop making excuses and work on it now.

Take it one at a time since financial concepts can be overwhelming. If you understood already a certain topic, then move on to the next.

The bottom line is you start to take control and commit yourself to learning more – now.

Keep in mind that ignorance excuses no one. Take advantage of the information available online and make the most out of it. All you need is an Internet connection and there’s so much you can learn if you allow yourself to be informed.

6 Tips On How To Get Back To Saving Again

Christmas season is over. This means no more making a list, checking it twice, and sending balikbayan boxes back home. This also means you need to get back to taking control of your finances and saving for the rainy days.

Admit it. It’s hard to get back to saving especially after the holidays. Apparently, the reality is there are mouths to feed and you need to be prepared for what could possibly happen.

To help you back on track, we made a list of tips on how to help you get back to savings again.

Tip No. 1: Evaluate your expenses.

Before you get into saving, you need to see where your hard-earned money went.

Make a list of every expense you had over the holidays – gifts, food, activities you did with the family, and every eat-outs in restaurants. If you can include the cost for each expense, then much better. Make sure you include whether you used cash or credit card when you made a purchase.

You need to not just see but also understand where your money went as well as your spending habits for the past two months.

Be truthful on this. Acknowledge that you may have spent more than your budget. The important thing is you are willing to make it right the following year.

Tip No. 2: Know how much you owe and how much is left.

The next thing you need to look into is your current financial status, also known as your reality check.

Did you borrow money from someone? Did you use credit card in purchasing those items for Christmas? How much money did you withdraw? What fund did you use to finance those purchases?

You need to see how much money you have left. At the same time, you need to check how much money you owe, whether to a friend or the credit card company. This will keep you grounded and make it easier for you to make adjustments as you get back to spending. Plus, you will have an idea on how much you need to replenish given the expenses over the holidays.

Tip No. 3: Stick to needs – for now.

There is no more reason to splurge – for now. Take that time as an opportunity to get back to saving. You can do this by making sure that you stick to the basics and avoiding things you don’t really need. This way, you can give your wallet and bank account a time to breathe.

Make sure you relay the message to your family back home. After all, they won’t be needing new clothes anytime soon, right?

Tip No. 4: Get back to your budget.

Remember how much we emphasize on budgeting? If you already have one, then make sure you get back to that so you could set aside money for your savings.

If you don’t have one, then now is the perfect time to do it. You can check out this post to guide you through the ins and outs of budgeting.

Tip No. 5: Find ways to boost your savings.

If time and health permits, then you might want to consider getting a side job for additional savings. It doesn’t have to be grand, as long as it pays well – in the meantime.

Having a side job or a business is a good way to increase your income. In return, the money you earned may be deposited to your savings account. Who knows, this account could pave way for bigger things such financing your own business.

Tip No. 6: Encourage your family to save, too.

The obligation of saving is not just your responsibility. In fact, it is the whole family’s. Your commitment to saving should transcend to your family and make this effort together. When you do so, you will be able to reach your goals because everyone is helping.

Are you ready to get back to saving?