September 30, 2023

The Securities and Exchange Commission has reiterated its advice for the public to exercise caution when presented with opportunities to invest in businesses or join organizations promising easy money amid the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In separate advisories issued on May 5, the Commission identified five more groups engaged in investment-solicitation activities without the necessary licenses: CryptoInvestWith.Us (CIW.U); Won Project/Won Network/Won Foundation; Captcha Philippines, Inc.; Fil-Invest; and Xtreme House of Beauty Trading Corporation.

These groups have neither registered securities such as investment contracts nor secured secondary licenses to solicit and take investments from the public, as required under Republic Act 8799, or The Securities Regulation Code.

CIW.U, Won Project, Captcha Philippines, and Fil-Invest are not registered corporations or partnerships. Xtreme claims to be registered as a corporation, but such does not constitute a license to solicit and accept investments from the public.

The SEC warned that those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents of fraudulent investment schemes may be held criminally liable and penalized with a maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonment of 21 years or both under the Securities Regulation Code.

Those who invite or recruit others to join or invest in such ventures may likewise incur criminal liability, or otherwise be sanctioned or penalized accordingly.

The SEC has issued advisories on the unauthorized investment activities of at least 43 individuals and groups since the declaration of a state of public health emergency throughout the Philippines due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Commission encouraged the public to report unauthorized investment solicitation activities to its Enforcement and Investor Protection Department through email at [email protected]. – Press release