Here is our list of popular scam investment programs that flourished in the past victimizing thousands, even millions, of Filipinos.
1. FRANCSWISS (www.francswiss.biz | www.francswiss.com | www.francswiss.us)
FrancSwiss offered a 4.5% return on a minimum investment of $1,000. By the first week of July 2007, the program had been officially declared a scam as the website disappeared and investors stopped receiving payments.
2. PERFORMANCE INVESTMENTS PRODUCTS CORPORATION
PIPC was an online forex trading service that offered relatively higher yields on a minimum investment of US$40,000. Unlike other online investment scams, PIPC does not appear to be a Ponzi or pyramid scam. The program became embroiled in a scandal in July 2006 after its Singaporean owner went missing, allegedly taking with him majority of the company’s funds.
3. PHOENIXSURF (www.phoenixsurf.com)
PhoenixSurf was an “autosurf” program in 2006 that promised to pay 120% return on an investment in just 8 days. The company’s business model was offering advertisement space to advertisers and requiring members to “browse” or “surf” the ads in order for the company to make money. Members earned high returns on their investment in exchange for “autosurfing” the ads. The company eventually folded up when it found itself unable to pay investors.
Like PhoenixSurf, 12DailyPro was an “autosurf” program that started in 2005 and offered a 12% daily return on invested funds for 12 days. The company closed down, with the owner said to have ran away with more than $500 million of investors’ money.
5. ROYAL MANCHESTER FIVE (RMF)
Royal Manchester Five (RMF) was a currency-trading investment program that enticed investors with a guaranteed return of 4-5% every month. Minimum investment amount was P200,000 ($5,000). It victimized thousands of Filipinos, including local basketball players and popular celebrities.
7. LEGACY GROUP OF COMPANIES
The Legacy Group of Companies is composed of 13 banks plus several other pre-need firms owned by Albay mayor Celso de los Angeles. The banks offered “double your money” schemes which promised depositors a 100% return on their money after several years. The Bangko Sentral had warned depositors that this scheme may be illegal and, in late 2008, the pyramid collapsed and the Legacy banks filed for a bank holiday.
7. AMAN FUTURES GROUP
Aman Futures Group was an investment program that proliferated in the Visayas and Mindanao, offering investors outrageously high interest rates for their investment. It is said to have victimized more than 15,000 people, with around P12 billion of money involved. The scandal rocked the national government since some politicians of local government units are accused of using government money to invest in the said scam.
Learn more about other scams that we have written about: Investment Scams and Scam Updates