The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday cautioned the public from investing in Pluggle Inc., an online advertising website that it said was not authorized to solicit investments.
The SEC posted an advisory on its website that while Pluggle was registered with the commission, it was not authorized to solicit investments from the public, because it had not secured necessary license from the corporate regulator.
The SEC also warned brokers, dealers and salesman of Pluggle who were enticing and convincing people to invest in the scheme that they would be prosecuted and held criminally liable under Section 28 of the Securities Regulation Code and penalized with maximum fine of P5 million or a penalty of 21 years in prison.
It said those who were inviting or recruiting other people to join or invest in the venture or offer investment contracts or securities to the public could be held criminally liable or accordingly sanctioned or penalized.
Information obtained by the SEC showed that Pluggle required members to sign up to its website through a sponsored link and to purchase an activation code with P1,000 through their accounts using bit cons or through other legitimate members of Pluggle.
Pluggle claims its members may earn in various ways. It primarily involves enticing other people to become downlines.
The SEC said Pluggle on its Facebook account was promising a return of 30 percent up to 100 percent in 12 days for minimum investment.
“In view thereof, the public is hereby advised to exercise caution before investing in these kinds of activities and to take necessary precaution in dealing with Pluggle Inc. or its representatives,” the SEC said.
The SEC earlier warned the public from investing their hard earned money in unregistered investment schemes that were operating through popular social media websites.
It noted the proliferation of investment scams like pyramiding and Ponzi schemes using popular and free social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedln to lure investors.
Ponzi scheme involves recruiters or solicitors of investments using a scheme known as “get rich quick” wherein they promise extremely high returns within a short period of time without the need of doing something.