Philippines SEC pinpoints 5 digital currency ‘get rich quick’ schemes

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the Philippines has identified five new entities enticing unsuspecting investors to part with their cash, in its latest expose of such schemes in the digital currency sector.

The Philippines regulator identified the illegal investment schemes in a briefing, noting they were each promising unfeasibly high rates of return to investors willing to stump up their capital.

The regulator said the firms were currently operating with license or authorization. The companies in question were CryptoInvestWith.Us (CIW.U), Won Project/ Won Network/ Won Foundation, Captcha Philippines Inc., Fil-Invest, and Xtreme House of Beauty Trading Corp.

In particular, the regulator singled out Woncoin as an investment scheme that was purporting to focus on commercial projects, despite being seemingly engaged primarily in selling its digital currency to unsuspecting investors.

In its advisory note, the SEC said the project was not what it appeared to be on first glance: “While Won Project avers that its main projects are its mobile application and Multi-Level Marketing platform, which aim to tokenize OFW remittances, online payments, digital-loading services, air ticketing and travel and tours, its present endeavors rather suggest that its primary scheme of objective is generally to sell and trade its so-called ‘Woncoin’ to the public.”

Offering investment packages ranging from $100 to $20,000, Won Project offers investors a daily return of 1.5% for 100 days, claims the SEC suggests demonstrate that the project is in fact a pyramid scheme.

In each of the five cases flagged by the regulator, the firms in question did not have the required licenses in place to operate lawfully, with some including Won Project not even registered as incorporated companies.

The warnings are the latest to come from the regulator, as it responds to the growing number of investor complaints and scams in the digital currency sector.

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