SEC alerts investors against unlicensed groups riding on new technologies

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned the public against investing in groups promising quick returns supposedly from cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies.

In separate advisories issued on April 14, the SEC flagged the unauthorized investment-solicitation activities of Delta Crypt Limited, INVEXPERT and The Billion Coin (TBC).

Delta Crypt offers standard investment plans yielding 104% to 6,000% only after one to 90 days for a minimum deposit of $10 and a maximum of $100,000. Under its VIP plans, investors could supposedly earn 500% to 3,000% after five to 20 days for a minimum investment of $5,000 and a maximum of $50,000.

On its website, Delta Crypt presents itself as a private limited company registered in England and Wales. It purportedly engages in the trading of cryptocurrency on the world’s largest trading platforms.

INVEXPERT offers similar investment plans promising returns ranging from 104% to 3,000% in one to 30 days. An investor may deposit a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $100,000. It also claims to be a registered company in the United Kingdom under the name, INVESPERT LTD.

It supposedly invests in startups in fast growing industries such as AI, Internet of Things, robotics, biotechnology, and financial technology, according to information posted on its website.

Meanwhile, TBC promotes its “TBCoin” as a decentralized cryptocurrency that aims to revolutionize the global financial system in order to eradicate world poverty. Unlike Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that strictly follow market-driven norms, the value of TBCoin depends on the number of its users, holders or investors. As such, the group operated by Kris Kringle calls TBCoin an “Abundance-based Cryptocurrency.”

TBC claims that the value of TBCoin will never drop and shall continuously increase by 1% to 5% daily until it reaches €1 billion for every TBCoin. The value of TBCoin is derived by multiplying the number of investors by €1.

TBC also offers a number of investment packages in the Philippines for P100 to P25,000. It promises a 100% return on investment every 25 days along with bonuses and leverages intended to entice investors to put in more money and recruit members.

The SEC said the schemes operated by Delta Crypt, INVEXPERT, and TBC involve the offering and sale of securities, in the form of investment contracts, to the public.

Accordingly, the groups must have secured prior and/or license to sell securities to the public, pursuant to Republic Act No. 8799, or The Securities Regulation Code. However, the SEC found no record of the registration of Delta Crypt, INVEXPERT, as well as TBC and its operator Kris Kringle as corporation or partnership.

More so, the groups have no secondary license to offer or sell securities in the Philippines. TBC and Kris Kringle are likewise absent in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ list of registered banks, exchanges or companies engaged in digital assets, as well as in the list of generally accepted virtual currencies as posted on the World Coin Index and Coin Market Cap websites.

The SEC noted that any promise of ridiculous rates of return with little or no risks presents a red flag that an investment offer could be a scam. Entities engaged in fraudulent investment schemes tend to disappear shortly to the prejudice of their stakeholders, it added.

In this light, the SEC advised the public to avoid or stop investing in any scheme or entity operating under Deltra Crypt, INVEXPERT, TBC, and Kris Kringle or such other entities engaged in similar unauthorized activities.

The agency also warned the public against CashCowRobot, which offers investors an opportunity to earn as much as P8,000 per day by recruiting more members, completing tasks online, and selling digital products.

To join the program, one needs to pay P1,000 for a lifetime membership. The investor may then receive unlimited referral commissions, pairing bonuses, and compensation for selling products and completing tasks online.

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