SEC Uses Mock Website to Warn Unsuspecting Investors to Avoid ICOs scam
The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday launched a cryptocurrency counterfeiting website to warn investors of the risks of participating in “initial coin offerings” or ICOs.
The details of HoweyCoins are set out in a report on the website, and the project is being backed by a famous institution known as … the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“The SEC Has an Opportunity You Won’t Want to Miss: Act Now!” the regulator screamed in an announcement on its site. When visitors click a button that reads “Buy Coins Now!” they are routed to an Investor.gov site that breaks down the spoof and outlines how each element is commonly used to trick unsuspecting investors in ICO schemes.
“Fraudsters can quickly build an attractive website and load it up with convoluted jargon to lure investors into phony deals,” said Owen Donley, Chief Counsel of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, who doubles as “Josh Hinze” on the HoweyCoins website. “But fraudulent sites also often have red flags that can be dead giveaways if you know what to look for.”
The SEC was able to build the HoweyCoins website in-house in very little time, which demonstrates just how easy it is for someone to create a scam opportunity.
“We embrace new technologies, but we also want investors to see what fraud looks like,” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said, noting that the rapid growth of the ICO market has been “fertile ground for bad actors.”
“HoweyCoins is the newest and only coin offering that captures the magic of coin trading profits AND the excitement and guaranteed returns of the travel industry,” gushes the website.
Initial coin offerings are a way for upstart cryptocurrency firms to raise large amounts of money. In a typical ICO, inside investors are offered the first chance to buy a new cryptocurrency before it hits the market.
Remember, a free and simple way to protect your money is to research investments and the people who sell them. You can do all that and more on the SEC’s investor education website, Investor.gov.
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