On January 21, 2021, the SEC announced that it has amended its list of unregistered entities that use inaccurate data to solicit mainly non-US investors, adding 28 soliciting entities, six bogus regulators, and three impersonators of real firms. By revising the list of soliciting entities that have been the subject of investor complaints (referred to as the Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities (PAUSE) list), the agency can provide to the public information learned by reviewing tips, referrals, complaints, and other sources, so investors may be cautioned 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. Placement on the PAUSE list does not mean the SEC has made a decision about the merits of any securities being offered nor that it has found violations of US federal securities laws.
The newest additions are entities that SEC staff determined were using inaccurate data about their affiliation, registration, or location. Pursuant to US securities laws, firms that solicit investors, in general, 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 coordination with the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the Office of International Affairs, regularly updates the PAUSE list. The SEC also recommends the following helpful resources to protect investors: