SEC capacitates gov’t employees to be scam-proof

CEBU CITY, Cebu (PIA) — “You could be the scammer yet you’re unaware of it.”

This was what Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Cebu Extension Office director Atty. Sheara Lupango-Tamayo said in her message during SEC’s first financial literacy seminar for government employees in the region. 

The seminar aimed to equip the government employees with the knowledge and skills to discern and deter unauthorized investment schemes. 

This way, the government employees will also be able to avoid becoming an instrument in scamming someone else. 

Tamayo explained that the profile of scam victims cuts across ages and professions. 

“Even professionals and government employees are vulnerable to various types of unauthorized investment schemes, disguising themselves as legitimate businesses,” she said.

SEC capacitates_app
SEC encourages the public to install and use the ‘SEC Check App’ to verify if a company is authorized to solicit investments or engage in lending and financing activities. (PIA 7)

Be a SEC-SEE investor! 

During the seminar, SEC introduced its ‘SEC-SEE’ Investor campaign, which aims to capacitate the public to protect themselves from unauthorized investment offers.

SEC-SEE stands for Securities and Exchange Commission – Scam-Proof, Equipped, Empowered. 

Tamayo said that checking the SEC Registration Number of an investment company is not sufficient to ensure that a company is legitimate. 

To ensure legitimacy, individuals should check the following:

  1. There should be a ‘Certificate of Incorporation’ from the SEC;
  2. There should be ‘Articles of Incorporation’ that contains information about the company;
  3. There should be ‘Bylaws’ that contains the rules and policies of the company;
  4. There should be ‘Order of Registration’ which stipulates the investment contract;
  5. There should be ‘Certificate of Permit to Offer Securities for Sale’ which contains the investment contract;
  6. There should be ‘Certificate of Registration’ that contains the name of the broker or salesperson who is licensed to sell investment contracts;
  7. There should be ‘Registration Statement or Prospectus’ which contains the nature of business, track record, and risk associated with the investment.

There are several cases already that SEC registrations are faked to lure individuals to invest in their companies. 

Tamayo also introduced the SEC Check App where one can verify if an entity or company is authorized to solicit investments, or engage in lending and financing activities. 

“Ini-ensure namin na ang makukuhang pera sa inyo ay may pupuntahan. Idedepensa yan ng kumpanya,” she said.

Companies authorized to solicit investment will have to undergo rigorous procedures before obtaining a Certificate of Permit to Offer Securities for Sale,  a document that authorizes a company to sell its securities such as stocks, bonds, or other investment instruments to the public.

DSWD7 admin assistant III Loreza Justimbaste shares her personal budgeting practices during the budgeting exercise of SEC’s first Financial Literacy Seminar for government employees in the region. (PIA7)

‘Say no to scams’

Loreza Justimbaste, admin officer III of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, said she was once a victim of a scam.

She said attending SEC’s financial literacy seminar has helped her be more cautious in her judgment of any offer she may now encounter. 

“You should know how to say ‘no’ straight to the point,” Justimbaste said. 

She also shared how the seminar could help her become an instrument in spreading awareness to how to be able to determine what is scam from not. 

“I will share it with my family and friends so that they will be vigilant,” Justimbaste added. 

Among the discussions during the seminar were the difference between the pyramiding or networking scheme and Ponzi scheme, and the 8-Point Test which will help determine whether a company is a legitimate multi-level marketing company. 

The participants were also introduced to The Howey Test to help the government employees in identifying if a particular transaction constitutes an investment contract. (JJT/PIA 7)

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