Thursday, February 29, 2024

Public advisory issued against ‘Meta Ads’ for illegal online investment scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued an advisory against an entity named Meta Advertising Company/Meta Ads Ltd/Meta Ads for enticing the public to invest their money without the required government permits. 

The entity appears to be not related to the US company that carries the name Meta, which owns and operates the social media giant Facebook. It also appears to be illegally using its logo.

Based on the reports from the public, Meta Advertising Company, through WhatsApp and Telegram, is inviting the public to invest in the said platform in a scheme known as “Tasking and Recharging.” 

Based on the reports, the Recharging scheme being operated by as follows:   

  1. The public will be contacted and informed via WhatsApp by certain persons from Meta Advertising Company regarding an ongoing recruitment for a part-time job where the public will be required to perform certain tasks for a promise of receiving monetary rewards;
  • Thereafter, the public will be required to perform two tasks by simply liking two videos for a promise of receiving P50.00 for every liked video;
  • Once the tasks are completed, the public will be given another task to perform which is to join a group named Meta and to like another video for a promise of receiving P150.00; and
  • On the Telegram Group, there are 23 tasks to perform in a day, in which for the first three tasks, the public is required to like certain videos and there will be Meta Investment Project (AI Projects) in between the three tasks, where the public will be required to invest a certain amount of money before logging in this link, https://vxmeta.net to complete the orders/tasks.  

As posted on its WhatsApp Group and Telegram Group, after the investor completes the first task, he can now proceed to second and third task/order, according to the SEC.

In every task there are three “Options” (Option 1, 2, or 3) that an investor can choose from its so-called “Mission Program” with a minimum amount of P5,000.00 up to P46,800.00. The investor can earn 60% up to 80% or P3,000.00 up to P37,440.00.

It was further reported that Meta Ads Ltd / Meta Ads via WhatsApp and Telegram and through the following platform and websites; metaadssltd.com, https://you.be/fCQ9qBLhMc?si=PZBYMkzxKmYvlaxj, https://metaadssltd.com/#/ is inviting the public to put and invest money and to watch advertisements for a promise of earning money.

However, upon completion of the tasks, there will be a sudden change of platform and the promised earnings can no longer be withdrawn. 

Per initial verification from its database, the SEC said Meta Ads is not registered as a corporation or partnership.

“Consequently, Meta Advertising Company/Meta Ads Ltd/Meta Ads also does not have a secondary license or authority to solicit investments or offer securities as only registered corporations can apply for and be issued a secondary license by the Commission,” the agency said.  

“Notably, the Tasking and Recharging Scheme involves the offering and sale of securities in the form of ‘investment contracts’ as defined under the Securities Regulation Code. An investment contract exists in a Tasking and Recharging Scheme as there is an investment or placement of money in a common enterprise with a reasonable expectation of profits to be derived from the efforts of others,” the SEC said.

“Further, the Tasking and Recharging Scheme, shows indication of a possible ‘Ponzi Scheme’ where moneys from new investors are used in paying ‘fake profits’ to prior investors and is designed mainly to favor its top recruiters and prior risk takers and is detrimental to subsequent members in case of scarcity of new investors,” it added.

The regulatory agency therefore advised the public to exercise caution in dealing with any individual or group of persons soliciting investments for Meta Advertising Company/Meta Ads Ltd/Meta Ads.  

“The public is further advised not to invest or to stop investing in the investment scheme being offered by the subject entities or its representatives,” it said. 

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