Is One Lightning Corporation a scam?By Randell Tiongson on March 12th, 2015
Yes, it is a scam.
In fact, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a warning regarding the investment taking activities of this company and its affiliates. According to the SEC, no secondary license has been issued to One Lightning Corporation. It is not supposed to be soliciting investments or selling investment products to anyone in the Philippines.
The SEC advisory includes a warning to those who intend to participate in the modus operandi of One Lightning Corporation. Individuals who try to convince others to be part of the activities of the said company will risk getting prosecuted for the violation of the Securities Regulation Code. Those who will continue recruiting more members or investors will be charged accordingly.
The Securities and Exchange Commission conducted further investigation on One Lightning because it is a SEC-registered company. The SEC cannot simply release a statement similar to the one issued for Emgoldex Philippines, which is not even registered with the Commission.
The SEC investigation found that One Lightning Corporation invites “investors” to its cosmetics and health care product line. These prospective investors are promised high returns on their investments in a scheme marketed as a “revolutionary compensation plan.” In this scheme, investors will get 70% of the company’s profits.
Just like other companies that attract investors through referrals or recruitment, One Lightning Corporation also dangles recruitment commissions or bonuses called “referral award” and “maturity award,” both of which are pecuniary in nature.
The referral award is given to someone who successfully recruits a new investor, while the maturity award is given to someone whose recruits have recruited other investors. The referal award is around 5% of the investment paid in while the maturity award is around 2%.
In an interview with ANC, Gerard Lukban, commission secretary of the SEC, said that it is not enough that a company is registered in the Philippines for its activities to be considered legal or legitimate. In the case of One Lightning, the act of selling of investment contracts to the public requires SEC’s scrutiny of the company’s registration statement and prospectus of what is being offered.
The SEC referred to One Lightning Corporation’s activities as a pyramiding operation.
Why SEC considers One Lightning a scam
According to SEC secretary Gerard Lukban, there were two violations committed by One Lightning: (1) the questionable investment contracts being offered, and (2) the company’s lack of a licensed salesman to sell the investment contracts. As the SEC advisory stated, the company does not have the permission to publicly offer securities and solicit investments.
Avoiding Similar Scams
Financial advice websites as well as government authorities will tell you a number of common factors that indicate whether or not an investment or “grow your money” company is fraudulent. They include the following:
- Lack of government licensing (registration) or recognition by the appropriate government agencies
- Lack of legitimate products or actual revenue-generating business operations
- Too good to be true (guaranteed high returns)
- Difficult to find official information about the company
- Focus is on the recruitment of “investors”
It’s important to note, however, that fraudulent companies at present have already evolved. Some are now registered with the government and also have products to sell. That’s why emphasis should be placed on “appropriate registration or licensing” and “legitimate products.”
As the SEC secretary mentioned, it’s not enough for a company to be registered and that the products being offered should also be examined for the proper licensing or permission to be publicly offered. In the case of One Lightning, it is SEC-registered, but it does not have the necessary permission to offer investment products.
It’s important to be very cautious with all financial decisions you make, especially when dealing with investment opportunities that are mostly being marketed online. Skepticism is advised and encouraged. This need for prudent financial decision-making, however, is not limited to investments. It also applies to making decisions on loans and credit cards.
Fortunately, there are transparency and comparison services like MoneyMax that can help you in differentiating the legitimate offers from the fraudulent ones, as well as the good from the better. They can facilitate a more informed scrutiny of your options. Comparison sites curate a great deal of relevant information and resources that make it easier to see the pros and cons of the choices you are considering.
The Internet is your friend. Make good use of it to research and compare, so you can be at an advantage in your financial decision making concerns. Don’t fall for a scam like One Lightning Corporation.