Hi there, my blog today is going to help us on how to distinguish a legitimate business/investment to an investment scam. At the height of our economic growth, scammers are everywhere, they are spreading BIG time! Someone you are meeting today might be a wolf in a sheep’s clothing. In the last 20 years, people have lost more than P80 billion to investment scams in the country.
Most Filipinos are prone to scam because of lack of Financial Education, ignorance in investment, and greed. According to David Angway, a Registered Financial Planner,” Many people get into scam not because other people ask them to join a certain group, but because they are greedy inside.” They want to earn more in a very small amount of time. How can we spot a scammer?
Sign#1. If someone offered you an investment that sounds too good to be true.
Few Months ago, I was offered left and right with a type of investment which is for me, an investment seems a “bed of roses”. The name of the investment was EMGOLDEX. I was also approached by my boss and inquired whether that was legit or not. In the hype of that investment, my officemates were throwing their hard-earned money. Newsfeeds were flooded with noisy testimonials about the easy money and raining cash. Later, EMGOLDEX was declared by SEC as an investment scam, money got wasted, and so called “investment” came out of sight. My boss told me few days ago, that, even the “upline person” got all the money and went missing in action!
Randell Tiongson, a finance advocate, wrote in his article;
“Salve Duplito, the host ANC’s “On The Money” says “basically, Emgoldex is a pyramid scheme disguised as a product-based MLM.” She further says that “Emgoldex promises to make its investors rich, not because of the gold, but through its commission plan. It offers returns of at least 1,105 percent, fast, easy, and without any risk.”
The prospects of getting such a big yield on your money is what lures a lot of people into investment scams such as the Emgoldex which is actually an old scheme with new twists. The combination of greed and ignorance makes investment scams proliferate and many forego common sense and join the bandwagon. If you read the marketing materials of Emgoldex, your first reaction should be “it’s too good to be true!” because it really is.
Sign #2. Most likely if someone promises you a guaranteed return, you better run!
In the legitimate investment industry, brokers and financial planners are trained to tell their clients that all investments have an accompanied risks. The higher the return, the higher the risks. The lower the risks, the lower the return.
What is Ponzi Scheme?
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering higher returns than other investments, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. Perpetuation of the high returns requires an ever-increasing flow of money from new investors to keep the scheme going.
Sign #3. Focus more on recruiting than their products.
Do not be easily get enticed with expensive cars and properties but be focused more of the products. What are the products and services? What are the features and benefits of products to offer to the customers? A legitimate business have good products to offer with a good business-model.
If you dont understand the business model then do not go for it. In social media, scammers used celebrities and sensational stories to entice people. These often spread very fast, because users share the posts before verifying the story.
“Ito po sa pyramiding kung susuriin investment style, nire-require mag-recruit tapos may bonus,” said SEC spokesman Atty. Gerard Lukban. “Kung sa pag-recruit ang payout kinukuha sa baba pag nag-collapse mawawalan ng kita.”
Sign #4. Focus more on quick and short-term return.
Of course, I would rather choose a quick return than waiting for too long. We want it the easier way. However, investment by its own nature takes time and takes careful study. My friend confessed in our group chat in investambayan that he was scammed 50,000 pesos few years ago by a Ponzi scheme and lost appetite in investing since then.
So Lets be very careful and validate any investments and don’t just rely on someone is telling you.
” For example, when someone promises you a high investment return in so short a time, ask him to prove it through third party validated studies, not just from testimonies of people who had bought the product. You may even ask him if he has a secondary license to sell investment securities from the SEC”, Efren Llamas,a Registered Financial Planner,says.