TAGUM CITY — Now that he and his family badly need the money due to the pandemic, they could not produce any as he has lost all his family’s savings to an investment scam which he hoped would provide them with a better future.
All in all, he said, he lost about P1 million, including the loan that he continues to pay and will continue to pay in the next two years.
Jojo and his friends were planning to pursue those who ran away with their money, but in order to be able to seek the help of the court, they need a hefty sum. “We wanted to file cases, but we could not hire a lawyer because like me, the others are also desperate,” he said.
But this was not always the case as during the height of the popularity of Rigen Marketing – before it became notorious- Jojo’s wallets were full of blue-colored wads.
Jojo, who appealed that his full name be not used in this story, said when he first heard about Rigen Marketing he was not enthusiastic to invest. He was lukewarm because he was told that Rigen was into investing in cryptocurrency, something foreign to him, and food supplements.
Also, because he has a stable job in a telecommunications company, Jojo was earning better than most, so he ignored those who tried to lure him to invest.
Joining the Bandwagon
Then one day, he learned that the Rigen conducted a payout for those who were first to invest in it and got 400% “return of investment”. The crowd turned rowdy during the said pay-out that it became a big news in Tagum City, the capital of Davao del Norte and its base.
So when a very close friend regaled him with what he was able to earn out of investing in this new entity, Jojo gave it a long thought.
Because he was conservative, he first invested P20,000. When he received his first payout of P80,000, he could not contain his happiness. He then set aside P50,000 as his next investment, spending the remainder.
Others, including some relatives, even used him as a conduit to the entity so that they could also partake of what he was getting. He was active in recruitment as he was also informed that he would get 10% commission for getting new recruits.
At the time of his fifth payout, he decided to “seize the day.” He borrowed more “investment funds” from banks and from friends, thinking that by the end of the month, he would not only be able to pay his debts, but he would be able to bring home a wallet full of cash. This was May last year.
But his worst fear happened: the payout at the end of the month did not come.
He and the others reached out to their coordinators to ask what happened, but the latter could not give them any clear information.
However, one coordinator assured them that they would still get back what they invested and even some of the promised profit.
Eventually the coordinator gave up, telling him and the others that he, too, lost a huge amount to the scheme.
Because they were uncertain in recovering their money, Jojo and his friends tried to consult a lawyer so they could legally file complaints. They were informed, however, that they needed to allot a large amount of money for their counsel.
“I thought before that by investing in Rigen, I would still earn big; what happened was I am now submerged in debts. The worst thing is I have also dragged my family in this mess,” he said.
“I have come to realize that the promise of huge profit would always not have any truth. So if I have money next time, I would rather invest it on my own business and not rely on others.”
Next time, he said, “I would do it the right way, not the easy money way.”