Two Philippine Crypto Platforms Fall under Scam Suspicion

Philippine authorities have warned consumers against two crypto companies suspected of running scams.

The Philippine’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued separate warnings against two online cryptocurrency platforms suspected of operating a scam. One of them promises huge returns on investment in short time span, while the other pledges gains for recruiting members in a "chain referral" scheme.

The market regulator issued an advisory against Onecash Trading - a digital currency service provider promising nearly 200% returns to investors in just eight weeks. The SEC also noted that OneCash was not registered to operate with the agency.

The advisory stated:

"In its Facebook Account Onecash Trading is inviting the public to sign up to their website through a sponsored link and deposit an amount of P1,000 ($20) as an enrollment fee.  Upon activation thereof, a member may opt to become a Trader with a promise receiving 25% return of investment every Thursday for eight consecutive weeks without doing anything or to be a Builder wherein a member shall be receiving P 50.00 ($1) per direct and indirect invites up to the 10th level."

The SEC reminded the public that all investment schemes involving the use of fiat money or digital currencies (Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, SIBcoin, Mooncoin, Ripple, and others) are considered securities and falls under its regulatory functions.

The commission advised consumers to stay away from investment schemes that promise quick and easy returns and report similar offerings to the authorities.

Recruiters, agents, brokers, salespeople, dealers, or agents of Onecash Trading involved in the sale or recruitment of investors for their product/s could be violating the Securities Regulation Code and facing penalties of up to $100,000 or imprisonment of up to 21 years or both, the SEC warned.

The regulator also released a cautionary advisory against PBB150 Trading, a multi-level marketing (MLM) cryptocurrency. Under PBB150’s scheme, members earn points as the number of their recruits increases. The SEC likened the operation to a “chain referral” system.

The warning said:

"PBB150 Trading has no physical products and is engaged in what they called the ‘4th earning system,' where according to PBB's CEO, Leonardo Dano Labastida, members may buy a digital currency called "Kringles," amounting to P55.00 ($1.1) each (maximum of 20 Kringles per account), with a promise that said amount would become P80.00 ($1.6) in a span of two weeks."

According to the SEC, PBB150 has also imposed a 20 Kringles limit per account to make its operations appear legitimate.

In the US, the Federal Trade Commission has filed criminal charges against Bitcoin Funding Team and My7Network for allegedly operating “chain referral” scams and promising their users massive rewards for luring new members.