SEC warns against Cam Sur-based Sharebiz Advertising

LEGAZPI CITY -- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued an Advisory against SHAREBIZ ADS/SHAREBIZ ADVERTISING/SHAREBIZ ONLINE ADVERTISING SERVICES (Sharebiz) for engaging in unauthorized and illegal investment solicitation activities online.

Based on the information gathered by SEC, Sharebiz is founded by its CEO Mr. Lawrence Menor Ibarra (“Mr. Ibarra”), with principal office address at 2nd Floor Amorsolo Building Zone 5 San Miguel Iriga City, Camarines Sur. The entity uses facebook in the conduct of unauthorized investment solicitations.

In its Facebook post, Sharebiz offers three (3) entry packages: executive package, silver package and gold package, for the amounts of PhP330, PhP550 and PhP1,100, respectively. Promised ways of earning money include direct referral, indirect referral, matching bonus, captcha encoding and bizcoin savings.

As posted by Mr. Ibarra, one will have to choose investment plan from the given amounts of PhP500, PhP1000, PhP1500, PhP2000, PhP2500, PhP5000, PhP10000, PhP25000 and PhP50000. For every cycle of 20 days, the investment will earn 42% and for the 3rd and final 20-day cycle, the investor will earn 42% interest plus the return of the amount invested. As what Mr. Ibarra said, “it is the fastest, easiest and risk-free way to earn.”

In sum, an investor will earn passive income from pool of investment and active income from recruitment bonuses.

According to SEC-Bicol Officer-in-Charge Atty. Norma A. Tan-Olaya, investment solicitations is a highly state-regulated activity subject to the provisions of the Republic Act No. 8799, otherwise known as the Securities Regulation Code. Such regulation includes the registration of the investment products to be offered, issuance of permit to sell the same to the public and issuance of salesmen licenses to the individuals who will conduct the investment solicitations or selling of the investment products/securities to the public.

“While Sharebiz is not registered as corporation or partnership with SEC, the public should nevertheless be reminded that registration as a corporation or partnership DOES NOT authorize investment solicitation. It must be noted that some of the entities tracked down by SEC for unauthorized investment solicitations were registered as corporations,” Atty. Tan-Olaya added.

Since the declaration of ECQ to date, the SEC has already flagged down more than 30 entities/companies for illegal investment solicitation activities. The entities offer various creative strategies or schemes in enticing the public to invest in ridiculously high return investment products, combined with low or zero risk of loss.

According to Atty. Tan-Olaya, these are red flags of Ponzi scheme, a fraudulent investment scheme commonly practiced by scammers wherein there is no real profits derived from legitimate business activities and the monies given to earlier investors as “profits” are actually just sourced from the investments of subsequent investors.

SEC Bicol strongly advises the public to be wary of these fraudulent investment schemes. For their own protection, Atty. Tan-Olaya reminds the public to always verify first with SEC if a particular entity/person is authorized to solicit investments and if the investment products/securities being offered are registered. “Again, registration as corporation or partnership is NOT an authority to solicit investments,” she reiterated.

SEC Bicol is actively monitoring unauthorized investment solicitation activities in the Region. If you have been targeted by a scam or have any information/knowledge about such activities, help others avoid the same and report said activities to SEC. The public may contact SEC – Legazpi Extension Office via email address or mobile number 0929-8831917.

"Your reports help us understand what is happening and can lead to investigations and legal action to shut scammers down." OIC Tan-Olaya ended.***