It is horrible to hear the story of a housewife who is a victim of this online paluwagan system in Facebook. According to the ABS-CBN news video below, she invested 500,000 pesos of hard earned money from her OFW husband to this online paluwagan scheme without her husband’s knowledge and even permission. At first she received money from this online paluwagan and because she was happy with the profits she received, she invested 500,000 pesos with the promise of getting huge returns. Just after investing the money, the online paluwagan administrator just disappeared or could not be reached. I think they did not even meet each other in person. Because of the scam she had difficulties paying her children’s tuition fees as well as paying utilities and house expenses. This led to her eventual separation from her husband. It is clear that this new online scam is destroying families.
Another lady, sold her jewelry and properties (at a lower price) to invest in this online paluwagan system. She even used her family savings only to find out she has been duped. As of the moment, 15 people have sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Cybercrime division. In my opinion, it is impossible for these victims to get their money back judging from past cases of investment scams like the Aman Futures scam. These cases may also take years in courts until the victims are no longer interested to pursue the cases.
The online scam is all done online. Members communicate through Facebook chat and groups. Members are asked to deposit their investment in a bank account provided by the paluwagan administrator. They received promises of 100% return which will be deposited to their bank accounts after few weeks. The investors did not receive any proof of investment like receipts or investment certificates. Everything is done based on trust and false promises. Unfortunately, the paluwagan admins could not be trusted from the start but the victims had no idea how bad are the people they are transacting with.
There are many investment instruments in the market that are legal including mutual funds, UITFs, stocks, bonds and VUL products. Returns are not guaranteed and may take time to get a good return of investment but you are confident that you are not being scammed! Study first before you invest to avoid being a victim of scams. Expect that there would be more related scams in the future with the popularity of social media and internet technologies
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