SEC warns public vs online investment scams


THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned the public against investing money in unregistered investment schemes operating through social media sites.

Lawyer Russel Ildesa, director of SEC-Iloilo Extension Office, said yesterday the public should be aware of the “modus operandi” of the suspects who are taking advantage of the social media.

He said most of the victims were attracted by good proposals of the scammers in sites like Facebook.

SEC, in partnership with the Bacolod City Government through the Council on Gender and Development (GAD), the Bacolod Business Development and Promotions Center (BBDPC), Business Permits and Licensing Division, and Councilor Cindy Rojas, chairperson of committee on women and gender, yesterday held an investment information seminar at the MassKara Hall of the Bacolod Government Center.

The seminar was attended by various business groups, city employees, barangay officials, among others.

Ildesa said they discussed the GAD’s role in capital market, microfinance and lending, investment scams, investment products, and company registration system.

“We aim to reduce the investment scams and we are hopeful that the participants will be educated on style and ‘modus’ of the scammers,” he said.

Ildesa urged the public to seek an advice first before investing their money.

He said that target of the suspects are those who have money and willing to invest.

“They will offer you a very attractive deal so that you will invest with them, but after investing your money, they will disappear,” the SEC official warned.

Ildesa noted that in Western Visayas, they have received complaints, but failed to prosecute the suspects for lack of cooperation from the complainants.

Ildesa said an extension of SEC office will soon open in Bacolod.

He said there was already an approved law creating the Bacolod SEC extension office to help prevent the proliferation of investment scams.

House Bill 2360, which proposed the establishment of SEC extension office in Bacolod, was introduced by former congressman, now Mayor Evelio Leonardia.

Ildesa said the City Government is still looking for a location for the SEC extension office.