Last week the Philippine Police arrested 31 people working for an online crypto currency scam. The group called Roses 4U Inc. used a call center to solicit online investments in foreign exchange, commodities and crypto currencies, targeting foreign retail investors.
The offices of Roses 4U Inc. in in Cavite and Pasay City were raided by the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group along with agents from the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Anti-Money Laundering Council.
The scam was run through an on line portal, where scammers were offering fake trading accounts and other services like investment opportunities in stocks, without authorization.
The Philippine SEC notes that while Roses 4 U is duly registered as a company with the Commission, they were not issued a license to offer or sell securities.
“Roses 4 U makes it appear to foreign investors that their accounts are existent and active when in fact said accounts were fake and actually being manipulated by “Roses 4 U” officers and agents in violation of Section 26 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC),” the Commission said in a statement.
According Section 26 of the SRC it is unlawful to “employ any device or scheme or artifice to defraud,” or “obtain money or property by means of any untrue statement of a material fact of any omission to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading.”
The police raids were triggered by an information provided by the embassy of Malaysia in Manila.
Most victims are pensioners from Malaysia and Europe, tricked to invest their savings in stocks.
This is not the first time the Philippine authorities have acted against organized scammers. In June 2018 almost 500 people were detained in connection to a multi million dollar internet scam.
Among the detained were eight Israelis, who are suspected to have run the scam, along with hundreds of Philippine employees, who were latter released. Arrests were made in a couple of other countries as well, including Israel.
According to the Philippine police, IBD Marketing – the company, whose offices were raided, operated as a call center for an online crypto broker – FTOCapital.com, which enticed investors to invest in bitcoins and other crypto coins. The call center has been operational for two year and a half.
Also according to the Philippine police scammers were defrauding people at a rate of 1 million USD a day.