On September 15th, the SEC announced that it has revised its list of unregistered entities that use inaccurate data to solicit mainly non-US investors. This update includes 29 soliciting entities, three impersonators of real firms, and one bogus regulator.
By revising the list of soliciting entities that have been the subject of investor complaints (also known as the Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities (PAUSE) list), the SEC can provide the public with information learned through reviewing tips, referrals, complaints, and other sources, alerting retail investors about potential fraud before they invest. The PAUSE list also identifies bogus regulators who falsely claim to be government agencies or affiliates and those impersonating registered securities firms. An entity’s placement on the PAUSE list does not mean the SEC has made decisions about the merits of any securities being offered or that it has found violations of US federal securities laws.
The latest additions are entities that SEC staff determined were using inaccurate data about their affiliation, registration, or location. Under US securities laws, firms that solicit investors generally must register with the SEC and meet certain financial standards, as well as disclosure, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements.
The SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence, in conjunction with the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the Office of International Affairs, periodically revises the PAUSE list. The SEC recommends visiting investor.gov for helpful articles for tips on investing wisely and avoiding fraud.
Entities engaging in fraudulent activities often impersonate organizations or individuals to draw victims into scams. They may impersonate government agencies or employees, or legitimate investment professionals including brokers and investment advisers. Impersonators may be part of an advance fee scam or may use personal data they obtain to steal someone’s identity or misuse their financial assets. The SEC encourages investors to remain apprised of these impersonation schemes by visiting investor.gov for helpful articles with tips on investing wisely and avoiding all types of fraud.