SEC Updates List Of Firms Using Inaccurate Information To Solicit Investors


Thursday, November 01, 2018  05.09AM  / By US SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence


- Updates Make It Easier For Retail Investors To Search Database.


The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has updated its list of unregistered entities that use misleading information to solicit primarily non-U.S. investors, adding 16 soliciting entities, four impersonators of genuine firms, and eight bogus regulators. The SEC also made technical updates to its database to make it easier for retail investors to search and obtain information about unregistered entities.  The update to the database consolidates the active and archived lists.


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. 


“Today’s updates to the PAUSE list are part of the agency’s continuing effort to help investors protect themselves and be better informed when making investment decisions,” said Jennifer Diamantis, Chief of the SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence.


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 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.


Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities (PAUSE)

Additional PAUSE Lists

In addition to the unregistered soliciting entities listed below, the SEC also receives complaints about entities impersonating genuine US registered securities firms as well as entities falsely claiming affiliation with government agencies or international organizations, including the SEC:

 ·         Impersonators of Genuine Firms

This is a list of entities that use a name that is the same as, or similar to, the name of a US registered securities firm, notwithstanding the fact that the soliciting persons are not affiliated with a US registered securities firm.

·         Fictitious Regulators

This is a list of entities that claim an endorsement, approval or other support by a governmental agency or international organization that does not exist or does not really lend support to the entity or the investments it is offering.


The public should be aware that these lists do not include all unregistered entities, impersonators of genuine firms, fake regulators, or entities that have been the subject of complaints received by the SEC. Also, you should understand that the inclusion of a name on these lists does not mean that the SEC has concluded that a violation of the US securities laws has occurred or that the SEC has made any judgment about the merits of the securities being offered by these entities.



How to protect yourself:

1.      Check the background of anyone selling you an investment.

2.      Learn more about scams targeting Main Street investors, including:

3.      Watch out for false claims about SEC and CFTC endorsements

4.      Visit for tips on investing wisely and avoiding fraud.


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