The new SEC’s fake ICO website is aimed at crypto newbies in order to teach them what a legitimate ICO website shouldn’t look like.
The SEC setup the bogus ICO website HoweyCoins.com, complete with a fake White Paper, as an educational tool to alert investors to possible fraud involving digital assets like crypto-currencies and initial coin offerings.
Once the would-be investor clicks on the About link at the bottom of the page, they are sent to the investor.gov page which greets them with the stark revelation that:
If You Responded To An Investment Offer Like This, You Could Have Been Scammed – HoweyCoins Are Completely Fake!
Further down the page they go into more detail behind the reasons for setting up the website and list a number of RED FLAGS such as:
- CLAIMS OF HIGH, GUARANTEED RETURNS,
- CELEBRITY ENDORSMENTS,
- CLAIMS OF “SEC-COMPLIANT”,
- INVESTING WITH A CREDIT CARD,
- PUMP AND DUMP SCAMS,
which should alert potential investors of high probability of fraudulent actors being behind the website.
Every investment carries a certain level of risk, including registered securities (which is the main reason why they are regulated in the first place), so offering guaranteed returns is a dead certain scam giveaway, which everyone should be aware of at this stage.
“The rapid growth of the ‘ICO’ market, and its widespread promotion as a new investment opportunity, has provided fertile ground for bad actors to take advantage of our Main Street investors. We embrace new technologies, but we also want investors to see what fraud looks like, so we built this educational site with many of the classic warning signs of fraud. Distributed ledger technology can add efficiency to the capital raising process, but promoters and issuers need to make sure they follow the securities laws. I encourage investors to do their diligence and ask questions.” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton explained in a press release.
It’s probably safe to say that the SEC hasn’t been particularly crypto friendly as of late, however we see this as a positive move to help educate the masses on the difference between a legitimate and a fake ICO website. There are definitely both types out there.
Owen Donley, SEC Chief Counsel, explained how scammers
“can quickly build an attractive website and load it up with convoluted jargon to lure investors into a phony deal. But fraudulent sites also often have red flags that can be dead giveaways if you know what to look for.”
The SEC have shown that they do posses some degree of humor, as the fake coin’s name references the famous Howey Test, which was created by the Supreme Court for determining whether certain transactions qualify as “investment contracts.” If so, then under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, those transactions are considered securities and therefore subject to certain disclosure and registration requirements.
Here at 2100news we do our best to vet any ICO project that we promote or list, however it’s very important that you always do your own research. If something sounds too good to be true it virtually always is. Just remember bitconnect and all the promoters who were pushing it all over YouTube. The real actors stayed well hidden and in the end ran away with millions. It’s been 4 months since the shutdown and we still don’t know who they are or if the investors will ever see their money again.
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