Friday, June 3, 2016

SEC: Investigate first before you invest
By Connie B. Destura

LEGAZPI CITY, June 2 (PNA) -- “Investigate first before you invest.”

This was the advice of lawyer Fiona Mae Corral-Bobis, Securities Counsel II of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Bicol regional office, during a press conference Wednesday for the agency's month-long information and dissemination campaign to orient the media and the public on the various forms of scam proliferating now so that they will not be fooled by the persons involved in these illegal activities.

The commission is the national government's regulatory agency charged with supervision over the corporate sector, the capital market participants, the securities and investment instruments market, and the investing public.

"Every time there is a report, we investigate," Bobis said, adding they would not know if a certain corporation would be involved in a scam unless the victims complained.

But, she said, the victims would only complain when the return of investment was not given to them as promised, that’s the time when SEC would learn about it and "we’re the last one to know."

To be informed, the SEC gives some tips and reminders to the media practitioners on how to detect a scam.

A scam or confidence trick, Bobis said, was an attempt to defraud a person or persons by gaining their confidence and offering a big profit for their investment.

The first line of defense against a scam is to ask for the licenses of the corporation, not just one but at least three kinds of license issued by the SEC.

"To protect your money, go to the nearest SEC office in your locality and inquire about the corporation offering a service of investment," the SEC official said.

Ask what the contract is about; ask for a copy of the contract and verify it with the SEC office, she added.

The SEC-Legazpi is one of the eight branches of the agency in the country.

All applications filed in Legazpi are released within 30 minutes, if their papers are clean, SEC Regional Director Marylou Duka-Castillo said.

"Relative to scams, if the offer is too good to be true, then it is not true," Castillo said. (PNA) RMA/FGS/CBD/EDS