Only a small portion of the global population are aware of the existence of HYIPs or high yield investment programs. Much more so within the Philippines.
Few days ago, my brother send a text message borrowing quite a large amount of money. He informed me that he will return the money in 23 days. Being familiar with these HYIPs, I had a hunch that someone might have introduced him to the program SMFund which is heavily promoted by investors. They are even using local banks to pay back the investors' money.
A day later, TV stations started airing warnings to televiewers regarding the operations of these internet-based ponzi scams (commonly known in the internet as high yield investment programs or HYIPs) that have penetrated not only the Philippine territory but worldwide.
Some people may not be aware of their existense but investors panicked because each one of them has a minimum contribution of $1000. Some invested more. According to the investors, they can earn as much as $45 a day. Comparing with the regular salary of a Filipino employee working 8 hours a day, $45 is already a big amount considering all the investor do is wait for the ROI of his money. This promise of lucrative income has motivated people to invest to the extent of borrowing money just so they can participate.
Philippines' Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has already issued warning that the following programs
- Swiss Cash
- Universal Forex System
- Global America
- Private Forex Trade Inc.
are not registered and they are unauthorized to conduct business within the Philippines.
Another internet-based program that was not mentioned is SMFund. From the time I've known that locals have invested about $1000 with these company, I've already asked what is the product or servie being offered but no one has the slightest idea. It is because most of them are new to this kind of program. This program is using a local bank to transfer back money to the investors. Some members though have made testimonials that the program has alreay stopped paying in Malaysia. Others have not received yet their withdrawals days after the money are supposed to be received.
When a program has no product or service and no proof of trading activities yet offer excessive returns on your money, the program is considered ponzi. In case you are invited by friends to join, be prepared to lose your hard-earned money.