TUGUEGARAO CITY: Officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have warned individuals not to fall prey to pyramiding scams and other investment frauds now becoming rampant in the Cagayan Valley region.
Lawyer Lalaine Monserate, head of the SEC Investigation and Prosecution Division, also advised the public to be vigilant against such modus operandi by businessmen who flaunt their riches claiming it to be the fruit of their business.
Monserate was in Tugeuarao City on Monday to present her findings on financial scams during the 5th Cagayan Valley Consumer Congress with the theme “Huwag Maging Biktima, Makilaam, Makipagtulungan . . . Lahat Makikinabang.”
“Everyone is a potential victim of scams regardless of status in life and educational attainment that is why every individual must beware of investment frauds,” she said.
Monserate also said that there have been many complaints reaching her office wherein victims are mostly celebrities, retirees and government employees and have lost their hard earned money.
“So whether you are rich or you belong to middle-class society, you can be a victim if you don’t know how to prevent yourself from these modus,” Monserate said.
Explaining how these financial scams operate, she said that the operators encourage an individual to invest on a business and recruit other individuals to be able to earn double or triple the invested amount without selling any product.
“But in our assessment, a pyramiding scam cannot exist that long and will only last for a period of one year or two and then the operators are nowhere to be found,” she said.
Monserate also warned individuals that “when someone lures you to venture in their business partnership offerings, ask them to show their products and whether these are commensurate to the money asked to be invested.”
She said these scam operators usually tell that there is no need to sell anything but to only recruit another individual, also called the “downlines.”
“And in case a product is to be sold by the recruits, the financial pyramiding scheme has no refund of investment system when the product is not sold,” Monserate said.