Friday Feb, 28 2020 12:14:30 AM

Police issue advisory on proliferation of alleged fraudulent investment schemes in Soccsksargen

Breaking News • 23:00 PM Wed May 22, 2019
Edwin O. Fernandez

Statement of PRO-12 Regional Director Brig. Gen. Eliseo Tam Rasco on investment schemes:

Despite our warnings and public advisories in the past months, people continue to fall prey to investment scams in Region 12. These fraudulent investment schemes have been brought to our attention as early as first quarter of this year.

Many people in SOCCSKSARGEN, some of them are even high ranking officials and members of the PNP, have been victimized and according to our estimates, billions of pesos have been lost to these fraudulent investment schemes.

The numbers keep on rising as of this moment. While we are actively trying to stop these investment scams and bring the scammers to justice, there seems to be a lucrative market for them in our region.

Albeit warnings to our people and despite cases filed in court against several of these scammers, they continue to appear under different business names.

They continue to operate. Ironically, people are still lining up everyday to “pay in” and we are receiving more and more reports of people being scammed. The schemes may change but the underlying greed does not.

These investment scams lure even the most sophisticated investors, using the deceiving and alluring appeal of outsized returns or secured and guaranteed pay-outs ranging from 30% up to 400% per month. That may be appealing to people but it is shocking and very suspicious.

To make this point, the “Police Paluwagan Movement” (PPM), as they called it, which shut down in March 2019, victimized many of our police officers and personnel, with about hundred of millions to Billion of pesos in losses.

It is sad to admit that these are law enforcers, whom we presumed to be more prudent – to have stronger sense of caution and discretion in schemes like these. I am concerned that our people may find it more difficult to distinguish between legitimate investment schemes and these scams and financial crimes. Looking at these companies’ business records, most are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Based on reports, these scammers solicit millions of pesos from victims for purported investments in a variety of projects and companies.

We, in PNP PRO-12, can only do so much to protect you from being victimized by these investment scams. Yes, we in PRO12 will conduct all the law enforcement actions we know possible and all investigative techniques in our arsenal, including undercover operations, to bring those responsible to justice.

But perhaps, our best tool now to mitigate these fraudulent investment offers is getting information out to the public, yet again --- to advise our people that they need to be very careful before making investments.

To the public, please

1. Take your time to check that the investment opportunities offered to you are legitimate before you hand over that “pay in”. With over billions of pesos already lost, you should guard your hard-earned money and not be persuaded by the high-yield “guaranteed returns” that these scams promote.

2. Be suspicious of these “investment offers”. Even if someone you know or trust made the offer, make sure to check it out first. No investment decision should be rushed. Ask questions and get answers that you can verify, either with us or with the SEC.

3. If you suspect that you have been approached by scammers or if you were already victimized, I appeal to you --- please help us help you. Come forward and file a complaint --- either directly to us, in PRO12, or CIDG or the NBI.

Reporting these scams is important to begin the recovery process, to ensure that those responsible are investigated and to prevent further damage to other people.

To anyone operating or attempting to operate an investment scam: cheating investors out of their earnings and savings is not a business plan.

We have already filed numerous cases in court and we will not hesitate to invoke the full force of the law against you.

We are committed to use every tool at our disposal to FIND YOU, to STOP YOU, and to BRING YOU TO JUSTICE.
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