The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it updated its list of unregistered entities that use misleading information to solicit primarily non-U.S. investors, adding 96 soliciting entities, three impersonators of genuine firms, and five bogus regulators.
The SEC’s list of soliciting entities that have been the subject of investor complaints, known as the Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities (PAUSE) list, enables investors to better inform themselves and avoid being a victim of fraud. The latest additions are firms that SEC staff found were providing inaccurate information about their affiliation, location, or registration. Under U.S. securities laws, firms that solicit investors generally are required to register with the SEC and meet minimum financial standards and disclosure, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements.
“This latest update to the PAUSE list reflects the Commission’s ongoing effort to protect retail investors across all investment products – including crypto asset securities,” said Jose M. Rodriguez, Chief of the SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence. “The PAUSE program continues to provide valuable information to aid investors in making informed investment decisions.”
In addition to alerting investors to firms falsely claiming to be registered, the PAUSE list flags those impersonating registered securities firms and bogus regulators who falsely claim to be government agencies or affiliates. Inclusion on the PAUSE list does not mean the SEC has found violations of U.S. federal securities laws or made a judgment about the merits of any securities being offered.
The Office of Market Intelligence periodically updates the PAUSE list in coordination with the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the Office of International Affairs.
How to protect yourself:
For information regarding public alerts issued by SEC and CFTC, please visit:
• SEC: Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities (PAUSE)
• CFTC: RED List
For information regarding public alerts issued by securities regulators outside the United States, please visit your local regulators website, some examples include:
• IOSCO: Investor Alerts Portal (iosco.org)
• United Kingdom: FCA Warning List – investment scam checker | FCA
• Hong Kong: Alert List | Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong (sfc.hk)