Beware of Pyramid Scams!

pyramid scamsPyramid Scams stream the headlines of Business papers this past few weeks. Two companies tagged as Pyramid Scams are Aman Futures Group Inc. and Visioner 2020 International Traders, Inc.

Based on an article published by Business Mirror, Aman Futures Group Inc. is an “investment” company operating in Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur, Mindanao, worth at least P244 million. The company is licensed to trade commodities like gold, coconut oil and nickel but was instead accepting money from investors to engage in the trading of futures commodities in Malaysia who were lured by alleged profits of as much as 60 percent in a month or less. The SEC said the company committed four grave violations: selling securities without prior registration with the SEC, non-registration as a broker-dealer, engaging in commodity-futures contract (public trading of which is currently suspended) and violating its registered purpose, which is that of a general trading company.

A news from ABS-CBN disclosed that Visioner 2020 International Traders, Inc. is a “newly-sprouted” group in Tiguma, Pagadian City run by a British national, with help by local leader Glenda Andagan. Investigation showed the company got an estimated P60 million from investors although they have information that the scam could run to a billion pesos. The company reportedly offered up to 52% return on investments monthly but lowered it to 30% after news broke on Aman Futures Group scamming P12 billion from investors.

In line with these Pyramid Scams, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a report reminding the public to be vigilant with their investments. The following is an excerpt from a memo dated 17 August 2012, the SEC:

“The public is reminded to be over-cautious or exercise prudence in investing their money in what appears to be a high yield-high risk investment which may turn out to be a fraudulent scheme. Where the scheme involves the sale of securities, please make sure that these securities are registered with the SEC.”

So for those of you who are interested in investing, ensure that such investments are registered with SEC and not Pyramid Scams. You may inquire with the Corporation and Finance Department (CFD) of the SEC at telephone numbers 584-61-03 or 584-59-50.

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