A link to a fake website is circulating in a Facebook post in the Philippines, along with a hoax solicitation to invest in a major business conglomerate. A representative for Ayala Corporation warned that the link was a scam, but the company said in a statement that shares can only be purchased through licensed stockbrokers and not through websites or third-party apps. I’m here.
“If I were you, I would switch to Ayala Corporation,” reads a Tagalog-language Facebook post shared on Jan. 11 in a group called “Philippine Investment Platform.”
Ayala Corporation is a leading business conglomerate operating in a variety of industries including power, water, real estate and telecommunications.
The post encourages Facebook users to click on a link to “Invest only 370 Pesos (US$6.77)” and certifies that the scheme is “Registered with the SEC.”
This link leads to a website called Oyala, which features a logo similar to that of Ayala Corporation.
“SEC” refers to the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission, which warns against companies illegally soliciting investments or engaging in Ponzi schemes.
The post appears to show a screenshot of a cash transaction and a “permit to sell securities” issued by the SEC.
Screenshot of fake post taken on January 17, 2022
This claim was also shared here, here, and in other Facebook groups on investing here.
Another post promoted a similar link advertising itself as the “Ayala App” and showed a screenshot of an initial investment of 370 pesos (US$ 6.77) growing to 1,605 pesos (US$ 29.40) in 55 days.
Some Facebook users appear to be interested in investing through promoted links.
“I’m already registered. Include me in the group chat,” read one comment.
“How do I get involved?” Read another.
A representative for Ayala Corporation said the company did not endorse the scheme popularized on Facebook.
“The so-called ‘Ayala investment app’ is a scam,” spokeswoman Yla Alcantara told AFP on January 18.
She shared a statement with AFP that Ayala Corporation had posted on Facebook that it did not have “a dedicated investment app or website.”
“As a publicly traded company on the Philippine Stock Exchange, Ayala Corporation shares can only be purchased through a licensed stockbroker accredited by PSE,” it said.
“No ‘investments’ in our company or our business units and subsidiaries are made through third-party apps or websites.”
Ayala Corporation has reportedly announced plans to seek legal action against promoters of bogus investment schemes.
According to the conglomerate’s verified Facebook page, its official website URL is ayala.com.ph. Click to connect to ayala.com.
Below is a comparison of screenshots from the scammer’s website (left) and the official website of Ayala Corporation (right).
A keyword search revealed that the SEC-issued certificate included in the post was taken from the Ayala Corporations website referring to the May 2022 fixed-rate bond offering.