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SEC Cebu steps up campaign against investment scams

(From SEC Cebu Facebook)

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Cebu Extension Office is intensifying its campaign to promote financial literacy and enhance investor protection by calling on the public to become investor champions and guard against investment scams.

SEC Cebu officer-in-charge Alma Marie R. Estrada-Dalena admitted that going after fraudulent schemes has been a challenge because these easily gain traction through social media.

In this digital age, it’s now easy for scammers from other provinces or regions to deceive investors in Cebu and other areas across the country.

Dalena cited the Kapa investment scam, which started in Surigao, spread to Davao and duped investors in Bohol, Cebu and even in Luzon.

“Lisod na kaayo nato ma-target kung asa gyud gikan or unsa kadako ilang operation tungod kay online na tanan,” Dalena said in response to a question on how many of the accused individuals so far were from Cebu.

In 2020, the SEC issued 126 advisories against groups and individuals who have been soliciting investments from the public without license.

Four cease-and-desist orders were issued against 15 groups and individuals, including Chiyuto Creative Wealth Documentation Facilitation Services and Royal O’ Consultancy Services, for their unauthorized investment-taking activities.

There are 48 cases pending in court for violations of Republic Act 8799, or The Securities Regulation Code (SRC).

A total of 187 individuals have been charged, including seven from Central Visayas.

Of the total, 19 have been convicted and sentenced to a total of 572 years in jail and a combined fine amounting to P25 million.

The SEC will observe Investor Protection Week on Nov. 8 to 12, 2021 as part of its month-long 85th anniversary celebration.

Newly appointed SEC Cebu director Sheara Lupango-Tamayo encouraged the public to secure their financial future by becoming smart investors.

She said this is the first time that the SEC has gone global, as it partnered with the International Organization of Securities Commissions during the World Investor Week on Oct. 4 to 10, 2021

The SEC is the government agency tasked to protect the capital market, corporate sector and investing public.

To cope with the pandemic, Tamayo said they have introduced innovations such as the online registration of corporations and online submission of reportorial requirements. (Ventures Cebu)

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