Anti Cyber Crime & Financial, Department of Financial Regulators, Office of Financial Affairs, Department of Law and Public Safety — these are just several bogus financial regulators that the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday warned investors do not exist.
Included in the long list of fake regulators is also a list just as long of advisory/securities firms that claim to be registered with the SEC or supported by other international organizations in the United States but are not.
The agency also includes a separate list of firms that are impersonating legitimate ones.
An SEC investigation of “impersonator” firms reveals that these entities have wrongfully appropriated the registration numbers and address information of legitimate firms from publicly available databases such as EDGAR and FINRA’s BrokerCheck, and set up phony websites in order to confuse and deceive investors, the agency states.
In other cases, what the SEC calls “spoofer” entities have appropriated the registration information of legitimate firms that recently terminated their registration with the SEC and FINRA or did so years ago.
In issuing its Unregistered Soliciting Entities, or PAUSE, alert, the SEC stated that the securities regulator receives complaints from investors and others, including foreign securities regulators, about securities solicitations made by entities claiming to offer investments endorsed, approved or otherwise supported by governmental agencies, including the SEC, or international organizations.
The SEC does not “approve” or “endorse” any particular securities, issuers, products, services, professional credentials, firms, or individuals, and does not allow private entities to use its government seal.
SEC investigation have also revealed that many of the so-called governmental agencies or international organizations that have claimed to have lent support to these solicitations do not exist.
The SEC states that the agency will regularly update the lists.