The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has warned Filipinos working overseas about investment scams after a group working in Saudi Arabia became victims.

In an advisory, the agency said Filipinos working in Saudi Arabia were recruited by Sangguniang Masang Pilipino International Incorporated (SMPII), a Philippine-based non-profit organisation owned by Elpidio Reyes Tanaligo Jr.

The Filipinos in Saudi said SMPII encouraged them to make an investment with Almasai Finance and Investment (now Almasai Equity Holding Corporation). They were required to put an initial investment of 50,000 Philippine pesos (US$980) to earn a “guaranteed” interest of 5% each month.

However, after investing about 100 million pesos (US$1.96 million), the workers complained that they no longer received any of the promised interest and had lost contact with Tanaliga.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration warned Filipinos working overseas to be cautious when dealing with people that offer high-yielding investments.

The Securities and Exchange Commission had previously warned the public not to invest money in suspicious investment schemes, which may turn out to be fraudulent.