Sometime in February 2019, the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group, together with SEC’s Enforcement and Investigation Division, raided the offices of ROSES4U Inc., a company that target foreigners into investing in an online investment scheme. In fact, they lure people into investing by showing a fake bank account.
On that same month, SEC issued a cease-and-desist notice to Kapa-Community Ministry International (KAPA). This organization is a religious group that solicits investments from its members in exchange of a “guaranteed return.” Although KAPA is registered as an independent religious organization, it cannot solicit funds for investment.
These are just examples of the many investment scams happening today. Despite the warnings, there are still many who fall for this. In fact, there are companies who target OFWs into get-rich-quick scams because let’s face it, you surely want to grow your money fast.
You can avoid that from happening to you by remembering these tips:
Always watch out for SEC advisories.
The good news is the government is taking steps to ensure that the public is protected against investment scams. It may be a tedious task for some, but it won’t hurt if you check SEC advisories every now and then, say once a week.
The agency releases reports that inform public about dubious companies, which you need to watch out for. Take some time to read and make a list out of it as your guide to prevent you from becoming a victim of an investment scam.
There’s no such thing as “easy, quick, and risk-free” investment.
All investments, regardless of their nature comes with a risk. The market is volatile and dependent on what is happening in the society; hence the changes in interest rate or policies. As a result, you will see the return of your investments after some time and NEVER the following week.
If someone approaches you and promises you 30 percent return next month, then walk away. No legitimate investment company offers that kind of return. It’s not worth your time and hard-earned money.
Remember, if it’s too good to be true, then it’s not true at all.
Check with SEC if the company is authorized to ask investments from people.
It’s easy to say that a company is registered with the SEC. Anyone can easily put up a corporation as long as all the requirements are complied with. On the other hand, not all companies are authorized to solicit or offer investment schemes.
What you can do is to go to the SEC website and type the name of the company in the search bar. If you see “cease and desist order” on the search page, then forget about that and turn to banks instead for investment.
Another way to check the legitimacy of a company to issue investments is by visiting the PIFA website. A legitimate investment company must be registered under the Philippine Investment Funds Association to offer investment options. If you can’t see the name of the company on the website, then don’t push through with the investment.
If everyone is doing it, then it doesn’t mean that it is “legit.”
Don’t be impressed by phrases saying “a lot of people joined us” or “your friends joined us already.” These are merely sales pitches to lure you to join. The truth is even if a lot of people are getting into a particular investment scheme, it doesn’t automatically follow that it is a legitimate one.
Be skeptical and don’t be easily fooled.
They’re always in a hurry.
Sadly, the “hurry while supplies last” does not apply to investments. Some investment options like Retail Treasury Bonds are time sensitive but generally, there is no deadline when it comes to investment. In fact, you can invest anytime you want, preferably while you’re in the Philippines.
If someone constantly nags you to “invest now before you leave out of the country,” then don’t mind them. Investing your money should be at your own pace.
Take these tips in mind when you’re ready to invest your money. You worked hard for that money and you need to make sure that you will place it in something that matters.