SEC warns Bicolanos of investment scams

By Sally A. Altea


The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) office in Legazpi City advised Bicolanos to be careful in making investment decisions especially in this time of the pandemic.


SEC Bicol chief Norma Tan-Olaya said investment complaints increased during the pandemic period as investment offers and payments were made easier through online platforms.


“During the pandemic period, most of the complaints involved online-based investment offers. Platforms for electronic cash transfer also increased so payments and investments were made easier and faster,” Olaya said.


Olaya said that before investing, investors must check and ensure that the company they are dealing with, whether online or onsite, is registered as a corporation and has a permit to offer investment products and salesman licensed to solicit investment.


She specifically warned investors of Ponzi scheme.


“These schemes can be easily recognized as they usually promise easy money, high returns, and guaranteed results in relatively short period of time,” Olaya said.


She said that in a Ponzi scheme, few investors would get high returns from their supposed investments to the detriment of many victims, since they may lose their investments as they go to other investors to entice others to join.


“A person earning from a Ponzi scheme is simply robbing the victims of their money,” Olaya said.


Olaya urged victims of investment scams to file complaints against the perpetrators.


“The SEC encourages those with personal experience on unauthorized investment taking activities, particularly the victims of illegal investment schemes, to cooperate with SEC and execute a complaint-affidavit containing detailed information about their experience,” she said.


Olaya encouraged victims of investment scams to file their complaint through the email address: secbicol@sec.gov.ph. They could also get answers to their queries by calling these SEC Bicol contact numbers: 09298831917 and 09153544131. (PIA5/Albay)