The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has posted on its website a fraud alert for Professional Forex Union Limited (Pro Forex) for posting falsified certificates on its website. In its certificates section, Pro Forex displays a “Certificate of Incorporation” from the SEC, which the regulator states is false and that Pro Forex isn’t a registered corporation in the Philippines. Pro Forex is a High Yield Investment Program company who advertises crazy returns and plenty of deposit choices. They also allegedly have a forex training service where you pay the company to learn how to trade.
Included with the incorporation certificates are a whole array of wacky postings. They include diplomas of MBAs in Banking and FX Trading from the Academy for Educational Development (AED) and thank you letters. In regards to the AED, the non-profit organization was suspended before the documents June 2012, and even before that time never had any FX MBA’s or financial courses at all. The thank you letters are even more outlandish as one is from a NY food bank which thanks the broker for not only a contribution but for handling their forex trading.
According to the website, Pro Forex is located in an office in Shanghai and Italy, but has its regulation and incorporation in the Philippines. The site also provides outsized trading statistics with the broker making money every day. The kicker is that the broker/scam did all this but failed to hide their registrar web IDs. A quick search provides the name and number of the site owner and a Barcelona address and the location of the servers in the BVI.
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So there you have it, a Spanish originated site, hosted in the BVI, claiming to have offices in China and Italy, regulated in the Philippines, with traders making money every day, and crazy certificates posted on the website.
On first glance it all seems pretty fake with lots of red flags. So who would fall for anything like this? In a an article for the Washington Post titled Why Nigerian e-mail scams are so crude and obvious? it explains that the emails are purposely created to be unbelievable. This is done to filter all but the most gullible people. In a similar vein, by promoting trading results that are beyond normal along with an assortment of certificates, Pro Forex is targeting naïve people.
The purpose of this article is to publicize that fraud Ponzi schemes continue to be very prevalent in the market and will appear in many various forms; whether as a HYIP or fund like that of Madoff.