MANILA - Emgoldex, which has been described by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a pyramiding scam, has earned the ire of singer Aiza Seguerra.
Its members are allegedly using her name to entice more people to join the scheme.
In her Instagram account, the 31-year-old Seguerra accused Emgoldex recruiters of false advertising and branding her as an endorser.
Seguerra wrote, unedited: "FYI HINDI NIYO AKO KLIYENTE AT HINDING HINDI KO KAYO INIINDORSO. Nag-sponsor kayo ng show ko sa Dubai at binigyan niyo ako ng t-shirt at dahil maayos akong tao, nagpasalamat ako, at nagpa-picture ako sa inyo."
"DO NOT USE ME TO GET PEOPLE TO JOIN YOUR GROUP BECAUSE I AM NOT ENDORSING YOUR GROUP. DO NOT USE FALSE ADVERTISING TO ENTICE PEOPLE TO JOIN YOU. I AM WARNING YOU, DO NOT USE MY NAME."
Emgoldex recruiters claim that an investment of P1,000 will yield P5,000 to P10,000, while an investment of P35,000 can turn into P180,000 to P360,000.
Investors are urged to recruit at least two more people into the scheme. However, Emgoldex recruiters also only earn because of the money given by "clients."
The SEC said this is clearly a pyramiding scheme that can collapse at any time.
Those on top of the pyramid scam earn the most money, while those on the bottom (or the downline) who can't entice others to join the scheme, lose their "investment."
Emgoldex is also not a registered corporation or partnership in the Philippines, and is not legally allowed to collect investments from the public.
Under the law, people who illegally trade in investments or financial products without registration in the Philippines face a P5-million fine and a 21-year prison term.
A cease and desist order had been imposed on Emgoldex in Massachusetts, US, and it has been banned in Finland, Colombia, Estonia, and Panama.
People who try to recruit "investors" in Emgoldex claim that the company is registered in Europe, but a complaint filed by Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin showed that it is registered in the Seychelles, an island nation off Africa.
ABS-CBN News called Emgoldex's alleged administrative office in the Seychelles to get its side but no one wanted to talk.
The SEC has repeatedly warned the public about the pyramid scheme.