SEC bars 4 more firms from soliciting investments online

·3 min read

FOUR more companies are ordered to stop from engaging in investment solicitations by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of its relentless drive against illegal easy-money scheme out to con the public especially during this health crisis.

In a statement, SEC-Cebu Extension Office officer-in-charge Alma Marie Dalena named Wonkacash or Wonka Cash App Financial Consultancy Services, IX Trade /IXTrade, Learn and Earn Online (with trading partners 247 CryptotradingFx, 247 Cryptotrade Online, Exchangestock, Binary Options Trading and Wolves Options), and Investrade Marketing/Investrade Digital Marketing Services for engaging in investment trading without the necessary certificates and registration.

Dalena warned the public anew of dealing with entities and individuals who offer "promising investments which offer ridiculous return of your money but with little or no risk at all."

"We urge the public to not easily be swayed with sweet promises of easy money. Learn to spot the scammers especially in your social media accounts and always fact-check," she said.

"Before investing your hard earned money, CHECK with SEC," she added.

The red flag is particular high with Learn and Earn Online, which is operating from Kenya.

According to the investigation made by the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department, Learn and Earn Online appears to be the broker for 247 CryptotradingFx, 247 Cryptotrade Online, Exchagestock, Binary Options Trading and Wolves Options, which are said to be based in the United Kingdom.

It offers free seminars and tutorials on how to invest in cryptocurrencies and how to invest online and then lures the public to invest in these online companies with the promise of lucrative returns with little or no risk.

Interestingly, Learn and Earn Online is operated by representatives that use synthetic or fraudulent identities, namely: Confidence Friday, Idong Umoren, Dima Viad Sasha, Itz Smart Livinus, Lawrence Patricia, and Lawan Muhamad MLS, among others.

The EIPD investigation showed that the entities offer "too good to be true investment" opportunities ranging from 18 percent to 1,000 percent income per week which is indicative of a Ponzi scheme.

A Ponzi scheme is where returns to early investors are likely to be paid out from the investments of new investors and not out of the companies' profits.

Dalena warned that the offering and sale of securities in the form of investment contracts using the Ponzi scheme is fraudulent and unsustainable and is not a registrable security.

"The Commission will not issue a License to Sell Securities to the Public to persons or entities that are engaged in this business or scheme," she said.

Meantime, warnings are issued against Investrade Marketing/Investrade Digital Marketing Services headed by a certain Mary Grace Pelenio Ganzo.

Ganzo's scheme offers a 100 percent double-your-money in 30 days or a return of 300 percent net income with capital within 40 days of investment.

Investors are then told to deposit their payment through different bank accounts and online remittance centers provided by Ganzo and shall be paid to her.

The investors will also be instructed to send their proof of payment to https://www.facebook.com/graciana.ganzo for verification.

Wonkash or Wonka Cash App Financial Consultancy Services is being operated through a person or persons using the pseudonym "Luisito Taruc."

As posted on its official Facebook page, Wonkas Cash Official Group, investors are promised a 100 percent double-your-money in just 12 days with as low as P500 investment to P200,000. An investor can also earn from direct referral ranging from 50 percent direct referral, and 10 percent bonus up to the 10th level.

IX Trade or IXTrade engages its victims through its website http://www.ixtrade.net or through its Facebook pages, "IXTrade Legitimate," "Ixtrade.net," "IXTrade-Team Panalo" and "Ingrid Arche."

It convinces clients that for only P500 to as high as P20,000, they will earn 150 percent after 12 days and an additional 20 percent as referral bonus.

Dalena said those who invite or recruit people to join in these investment ventures will be held criminally liable and could face fine and imprisonment. (PR)