SEC tracks down more rogue investment schemes

April 24, 2020

The Securities and Exchange Commission  has identified four more unauthorized investment schemes, including rackets possibly operated by previously flagged groups under new names.

In separate advisories issued on April 21, the commission warned the public against dealing with Viceem Help Worldwide/Viceem Help by Millionaire Maker Team, Nexus P Capital by GK Marketing Limited, and My Profit Robot.

In an earlier advisory dated April 15, the SEC likewise flagged the unauthorized investment-taking activities of Norway International OPC.

Viceem Help Worldwide/ Viceem Help, Nexus P Capital and its operator GK Marketing, MPR, and Norway International have not secured from the Commission the necessary licenses to solicit, accept or take investments from the public, as required under Republic Act 8799, or The Securities Regulation Code.

Based on reports from the public and as posted on its Facebook Messenger Group, Viceem Help Worldwide/ Viceem Help is simply the new name of Azenzo-Online whose unauthorized investment-taking activities have been flagged earlier.

The investment scheme of Viceem Help Worldwide/ Viceem Help resembles that of Azenso-Online, which promises a 30--percent to 100-percent return on investment within five to 20 days under a scheme similar to that of Kapa-Community Ministry International.

Nexus P Capital also operates an investment scheme that the SEC has warned the public about earlier this month. Like Cryptec, the scheme operated by a company purportedly incorporated in the United States offers cryptocurrency and foreign exchange trading accounts promising lucrative returns.

Its online trading platforms are supposedly tailored to minimize the chances of an unsuccessful trade, offering a 1:2 to 1:20 leverage for cryptocurrency trading and 1:100 to 1:400 for forex trading.

The leverage system essentially allows investors to cover a fraction of the value necessary for the trade or transaction, as the rest of the amount is provided or lent by their brokers or agents subject to certain fees and/or commissions.

Nexus P Capital also uses a trading bonus system in its credit token scheme to discourage investors from withdrawing their investments until they have complied with the minimum trade volume requirement. In case of non-fulfillment, credit tokens are forfeited and losses incurred are deducted from the investors’ deposits, which shall then be subject to a 20-percent withdrawal fee.

MPR, meanwhile, claims to be a unique trading robot that trades cryptocurrencies around the clock using BXTCoins and Property Arbitrage. It further claims that it buys and sells cryptocurrencies over several markets in order to make a profit from small to massive price differences across different markets.

As posted online, MPR touts an average daily profit of one percent per day or 365 percent per annum. To earn, one would need to purchase a six-month license for $200 and deposit bitcoins in his or her BXT wallet.

An initial investment of P5,000 would supposedly yield a profit of P1,739 in 30 days, or a 1 percent daily profit, to as much as P20,022 in six months. In addition, an investor may earn from referral fees and receive up to 35 percent commission on sales.

On the other hand, the investment scheme of Norway International involves beauty products and food supplements. One may purchase starter packages worth P1,500 to P4,500 to earn retail profits, cash rewards, direct referral bonuses, pairing bonuses, direct match bonuses, and car and travel incentives, among others.

The investor may earn even without selling any of the products under the so-called Norway International Binary System. For instance, a member or future investor availing of the P1,500 starter package is promised P90,000 to P270,000, an equivalent to a 6,000 percent to 18,000 percent return on investment, within a month. 

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.

Republic Act 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, further penalizes those participating in cyber incidents that make use or take advantage of the coronavirus disease 2019  pandemic to prey on the public through scams, phishing, fraudulent emails, or other similar acts with two-month imprisonment or a maximum fine of P1 million or both.