The financial regulator of the Philippines, Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has warned investors to be on alert to three unregistered crypto firms. The authority warned that the three companies might be potential scams, as they are not yet registered with appropriate government agencies.
Forsage among unregistered crypto firms flagged
Three flagged cryptocurrency firms are Forsage, RCashOnline, and The Saint John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta Foundation of the Philippines, Inc. The securities regulator warned the public that none of the above-mentioned firms had secured the relevant operating licenses or submitted documents for registration, leaving investors susceptible to fraud.
In its statement, the Philippines SEC asked investors to remain cautious when investing in companies with cryptocurrency. Notably, the Securities Regulation Code states that any individual engaged in illegal investment projects will face up to 21 years behind bars, in addition to P5 million ($100,891) in fines.
Forsage cryptocurrency firm, which Lado Okhotnikov created, is not listed with any relevant authority. It does not, therefore, have the lawful right to implore investment or sell crypto products. Moreover, the watchdog said the other unregistered crypto firm, RCashOnline, is not recognized as a partnership or a corporation.
Crypto scams on the rise amid COVID-19 pandemic
On the other hand, Saint John’s license was revoked as far back as 2003 due to refusal to report obligations. The warning by the Philippines SEC is the latest of caution to investors on blacklisted companies. In particular, investors have been warned to remain more careful than before when handing out their money during this coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this year, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) warned that crypto-related scams are surging due to the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. Besides, the government of Singapore revealed that the nation had seen a substantial rise in ransomware attacks in 2019.