June 10, 2019/US SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it updated its list of unregistered entities that use misleading information to solicit primarily non-U.S. investors, adding 11 soliciting entities, four impersonators of genuine firms, and nine bogus regulators.
The SEC’s list of soliciting entities that have been the subject of investor complaints, known as the Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities (PAUSE) list, enables investors to better inform themselves and avoid being a victim of fraud. The latest additions are firms that SEC staff found were providing inaccurate information about their affiliation, location, or registration. Under U.S. securities laws, firms that solicit investors generally are required to register with the SEC and meet minimum financial standards and disclosure, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements.
“By making this information readily available through the PAUSE list, investors are better able to evaluate solicitations to buy and sell securities and avoid being a victim of fraud,” said Jennifer Diamantis, Chief of the SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence.
In addition to alerting investors to firms falsely claiming to be registered, the PAUSE list flags those impersonating registered securities firms and bogus “regulators” who falsely claim to be government agencies or affiliates. Inclusion on the PAUSE list does not mean the SEC has found violations of U.S. federal securities laws or made a judgment about the merits of any securities being offered.
The PAUSE list is periodically updated by the SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence in coordination with the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the Office of International Affairs.
How to protect yourself:
- Be aware that fraudsters may impersonate government agencies to lure investors into scams, including advance fee fraud schemes.
- Impersonators may falsely claim to be affiliated with the SEC (or another federal government agency) in an attempt to steal your personal information or your money. Federal government agencies, including the SEC, do not endorse or sponsor any particular securities, issuers, products, services, professional credentials, firms, or individuals.
- Visit Investor.gov for tips on investing wisely and avoiding fraud.