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SEC Updates List of Deceptive Firms, Fake Regulators

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What You Need to Know

  • The SEC updated its Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities list.
  • The updated PAUSE list includes 82 new firms providing inaccurate information.
  • The fake regulator is Global Fraud Prevention in San Francisco.

The Securities and Exchange Commission released Wednesday an updated list of firms providing inaccurate information about their affiliation, location or registration with the securities regulator, a list of fake firms impersonating genuine ones, and a fake regulator.

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.

The securities regulator’s Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities list also 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 SEC explained.

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The updated PAUSE list includes 82 new firms providing inaccurate information as well as eight “spoofer” firms. The fake regulator is Global Fraud Prevention in San Francisco.

“The PAUSE list provides valuable information to aid investors in making informed investment decisions,” said Jose Rodriguez, deputy chief of the SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence, in a statement.

One spoofer firm, for instance, is Access Financial Investment in Chicago, which is impersonating Access Financial Group Inc., which maintains a website at afinancial.com.

The PAUSE list is periodically updated by the SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence, in coordination with the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the Office of International Affairs.