The SEC's Fake Scam ICO: HOWEYCOINS

Postado Mai 17, 2018

Check out the SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy's mock initial coin offering (ICO) website that touts an all too good to be true investment opportunity.

Presumably named after the legal "Howey test" that the SEC uses to determine whether a financial instrument is a security, the ICO claims that investors can expect to receive 1-2% returns and offers token sale discounts to early investors alongside pictures of exotic locations.

The coin aims to revolutionize the travel business, explaining that most travel businesses need "processing, centralized currency and...nickel and dime fees that add up to literally billions".

The SEC set up a website, HoweyCoins.com, that mimics a bogus coin offering to educate investors about what to look for before they invest in a scam.

Remember, a free and simple way to protect your money is to research investments and the people who sell them.

The site similarly features Twitter testimonials and list of its team members, though whether any of them are real is debatable - there are no social media or professional profiles linked to the names.

Owen Donley, Chief Counsel of the SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, said that fraudsters can easily build a site and populate it with confusing jargon.

In a statement, Owen Donley, chief counsel of the SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, said that the site incorporates numerous hallmarks of fraudulent token sales - pertinent information for investors looking to avoid financial pitfalls.

The site then goes on to describe a handful of red flags that signal a scam including claims of high, guaranteed returns, celebrity endorsements, claims of SEC compliance, ability to invest with a credit card and pump and dump schemes.