Warning out against online misrepresentation, other scams

Warning out against online misrepresentation, other scams
People are advised to be wary of unsolicited investment opportunities and unrealistic returns. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

A leading advocate for financial literacy in the Philippines has issued a warning for everyone to keep themselves informed and be vigilant against online scammers. 

SmarTrade, which continues to help individuals make informed financial decisions through free online learning sessions and personalized coaching, has demonstrated the value of digital platforms in businesses, offering tools that allow companies to reach audiences worldwide with a few clicks.

It has shown how online educational platforms transform the learning process, breaking down geographical barriers, making knowledge accessible to those with an internet connection, and allowing them to enhance their skills, pursue new careers, or simply learn something new at their own pace and convenience.

But SmarTrade’s success has also attracted scammers posing as its representatives to exploit those interested in the brand.


It uncovered last month a fraudulent scheme operating under the name “Smartrade.” This group and its associated Facebook page, led by a person claiming to be CEO Eryel Tierro, falsely used the SmarTrade brand to defraud individuals of their hard-earned money.

The bogus group, through the now inactive fake Facebook page, promised guaranteed initial profit of 40% in seven days with a minimum shell-out of P500.  

“Our mission is to give, not take,” Joyce Mayo, president and CEO of SmarTrade, said in a statement. “SmarTrade will never ask money from you.  We offer our services for free to empower individuals to take control of their financial future by educating them and equipping them with the necessary skills to explore investment opportunities, such as online trading. We have been doing this for more than six years now.”  

Mayo added: “Investing wisely requires diligence and research. If an opportunity seems too good to be true, it likely is a lie.” 

Protection tips

Warning out against online misrepresentation, other scams
SmarTrade market analyst Gab Santos during a recent session on “Mastering Online Trading: Effective Money Management Strategies and MT4 Platform Navigation,” held at the company’s office in Makati City.

Online misrepresentation is a growing concern, especially among industries dealing with finance. SmarTrade offered these tips on how to protect oneself from scams:

Always double-check who you’re dealing with. Reach out through official channels that you find directly on the company’s website.  When in doubt, call the customer service number listed on the website to confirm any communication. For example, SmarTrade’s official social media accounts and website, explicitly state that the learning sessions and personalized one-on-one coaching are all free. Any request for payment, investment, or a promise of lucrative return for such services is a clear red flag and likely a scam.

Never share your personal information unless you’re sure of the recipient’s authenticity. Be particularly wary of requests for sensitive details, like your bank account information, your birthday, or one-time passwords.

Learn to recognize phishing. Be cautious with emails or messages that urge immediate action, contain suspicious links, or ask for personal information. Remember that online scams can take many forms, so be wary of unsolicited investment opportunities, unrealistic giveaways, or fantastic offers. 

Report any scam attempt. Relevant authorities and the company that the scammers say they represent will help you and also prevent more scams.

SmarTrade said adopting these practical measures will allow one to enjoy the vast benefits of digital platforms while safeguarding one’s personal and financial well-being. It issued the reminder that the best defense against scams is a proactive approach that includes self-education, being careful in all financial transactions with strangers, and making security a priority in online interactions. 

To learn more about SmarTrade and access its online resources, visit www.smartradeph.com and follow its official social media channels at https://www.facebook.com/smartradeph and https://www.instagram.com/smartradeph/.

Read more: SmarTrade marks 5 years of helping Filipinos gain financial independence

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