SEC-Davao warns public against investing in 5 firms

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 September) – The Davao Extension Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued an advisory against five companies soliciting investments from the public within its area of responsibility and promising high returns.

SEC-Davao said one of these companies is engaged in the unauthorized selling of bitcoins.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-Davao Extension Office. Photo courtesy of Google Streetview

SEC-Davao, which covers Davao Region, Soccsksargen and Maguindanao province in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, has cautioned investors not to engage with World of Survey (WOS), Mining City, Hoton Retail and Services Incorporated (Hoton), Achievers Golden Marketing and Consulting and Raging Business Consultancy Services.

“We are reminding the public to exercise caution when dealing with individuals or groups soliciting investments,” the agency warned.

According to SEC-Davao, WOS draws investments from the public by asking them to pay a registration fee of P1,000 to create an account for a so-called “online job survey” where members can supposedly earn P1,500 by answering five daily surveys over five days, among others.

It said any member could open up to 50 accounts and could get rewarded P100 by directly recruiting a new member.

Mining City, which sells digital currencies, is not among the banks, exchanges or companies engaged in digital assets registered with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, which requires all entities “engaged in Virtual Currencies in the Philippines to obtain a Certificate of Registration to operate as remittance and transfer company pursuant to the BSP rules and regulations” in accordance with BSP Circular no 944 or the Guidelines for Virtual Currency Exchanges, the SEC-Davao said.

As advertised in its website, social media page and YouTube Channel, the firm solicits investments in the form of registration fees from individuals who can choose to invest in Bitcoins from $600 or P33,000 to $12,600 or P693,000.

The investors were promised an earning of $1.5 to $2 ( P100) or up to $69 to $92 (P5,000) daily for 1,100 days, and separate income from referral fees.

Hoton entices the public to become their business partner through the Hoton Franchise Partnership Program, soliciting a minimum investment of P100,000 to P14 million.

It promises investors a guaranteed return of 1% per month or 12% per annum for 60 months, 40% per annum profit sharing, and 100% capital guaranteed return to investors after a lapse of five years.

The Achievers Golden Marketing and Consulting and Raging Business Consultancy Services solicit investments of P5,000 to P1,000,000 with a return of 1% daily or 30% monthly for a period of 180 days to 360 days, respectively. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)