6 fall prey to get-rich-quick investment scams

Published August 13, 2019, 5:24 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY—Six persons sought help from the police after they fell prey to get-rich-quick investment rackets.
The victims, four women and two men, on Monday asked the Anti Cybercrime Group-Central Visayas to help them recover their investment.

One of the women said she was into foreign exchange (forex) trading when she was convinced by a friend to invest in Phoenix Trading Company which offers a 100 percent return after 15 days.

Last July the woman decided to put P20,000 in the firm since she was made to believe that her money will be invested in forex trading.

The woman said she checked the Facebook page of the firm that showed most of its investors received their payouts on time.

The firm also had a promo where investors can receive their payouts in just seven days.

The complainants said the forex player identified herself as Ailen Villazar.

The complainant said she and Villazar communicated through exclusively through social media.

Villazar claimed that the investment was funded by a businessman whom she identified as Joseph San Jose.

Another female complainant said she invested P462,000 in the company.

The woman said she was victimized by another investment scam in the past and hoped to recover her money by putting it in Phoenix Trading.

The two said they were supposed to receive their payouts in the first week of August but none arrived.

The complainants were told that the payouts were delayed because the businessman had been arrested.

One of the women said Villazar had stopped communicating with the investors, prompting them to report to the police.

The complainant presented to the police Villazar’s identification card indicating that she is from General Trias City in Cavite.

In the other case, two men complained they were deceived by a woman named Karen Tan from Baguio City.

Mark Balugo, who works in an insurance company, said he met Tan through Facebook. Tan enticed him to invest in Positive Times and was promised that his money will double after six months.

Balugo said he sent Tan P60,000 through money transfer, but was surprised when she blocked him on Facebook afterwards.

Balugo’s fellow complainant was able to hack Tan’s Facebook account and found that it was a dummy account.

Master Sgt. Henry Abatayo, investigator of the Anti-Cybercrime Group, said they will coordinate with the money transfer services used in the transactions to track down the swindlers.