It almost feels like every week there’s a new scam that the SEC has to warn Filipinos about. Online investment scams are becoming more common these days as more Filipinos log on to the internet and use it in their day-to-day lives.
This week, the SEC issued an advisory warning people against Success200, telling investors to “exercise self-restraint from investing their money into such investment scheme,” which is a nice, polite way of saying “don’t put your money in this scheme.”
What is Success200? The company is essentially a scheme that asks investors to put in anywhere from P1,800 (low-end) to P36,000 (high-end), with a promised return of P10,000 to P200,000 upon payout exit, respectively. That’s a “guaranteed” ROI of 455.56%, which is unrealistically high and should already set off the warning bells in your head.
On their website, Success200 state that they are a “iuly [note: the typo is theirs, not mine – I assume they meant “duly”] registered domestic corporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission with SEC Registration No. CS201509200 issued May 12, 2015.” But just because a company is registered with the SEC, it doesn’t automatically mean they are authorized to take investments from customers. The SEC itself says in the advisory that the company has not obtained permission to solicit investments, as required under Section 8.1 of the Securities Regulation Code.
Because they have no license to take money for investments, you should not give them your money.
In their defense, Success200 state on their site that they are not an investment company; instead, they claim that they are simply in the multi-level marketing industry. But what are they marketing? The product is supposedly “pure agaricus capsules”, but to earn anything from the scheme, each participant HAS to recruit two other people. In addition to that, each person has to put in money.
Of course, some multi-level marketing opportunities can be legitimate. But if it looks like a pyramid scam, well, you know what they say; if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. And if the SEC is warning you away from certain investments, then they have good reason to do so.
Don’t lose your money to scams like this. Many victims of scams aren’t rich; they’re regular working-class people who were duped by fraudsters. Just because someone on an internet forum said that they earned money from one of these schemes doesn’t mean it’s reliable. And just because they have one form of SEC registration doesn’t mean they’re actually allowed to take your money as investments.
If you come across an opportunity like Success200 that’s too good to be true, it probably is. Protect yourself by consulting this handy slideshow on how to detect an investment scam, and doing more research on your own, before putting your hard-earned money in anything. And for investments you can make for just P5,000, you can read this MoneyMax.ph article on the topic.
Read the SEC advisory here.