Washington, DC (STL.News) The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and Retail Strategy Task Force are issuing this Alert to educate Main Street investors about current investment frauds, including scams related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Fraudsters often seek to use national crises and periods of uncertainty to lure investors into scams. They may play off investors’ hopes and fears, as well as their charity and kindness, and may try to exploit confusion or rumors in the marketplace.
Like the rest of the SEC, the Division of Enforcement continues to execute its mission of protecting investors and remains fully operational. The agency is actively monitoring our markets for frauds, illicit schemes, and other misconduct affecting U.S. investors relating to COVID-19—and as circumstances warrant, will issue trading suspensions and use enforcement tools as appropriate. Still, we urge you not to let your guard down when it comes to spotting fraudulent investment schemes—including those masquerading as charities or targeting specific groups of people. Below are a few frauds Main Street investors should be especially wary of during this time.
You can also help others by reporting possible securities fraud to the SEC. We strongly encourage anyone who becomes aware of possible securities fraud to report the activity using the SEC’s online tip, complaint, and referral (TCR) system at https://www.sec.gov/tcr.