The messages are clear. Sales practice concerns, fraud, and operational issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic have arrived. Compliance professionals who are responsible for the surveillance and review of targeted areas of the compliance program should understand what may be coming down the pipe and ensure that their programs are sufficiently flexible to identify potential red flags.
Earlier this month, FINRA hosted a Small Firm Conference Call to discuss updates and implications of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). If you were not able to listen to the call live, a replay recording is available on demand. This recording provides and discusses many highlights noted in the FAQs Related to Coronavirus Pandemic.
FINRA has recently received notice from several FINRA member firms indicating that they have been victims of imposter websites designed to mimic their actual websites with the end goal of committing financial fraud.Read More…
[Continued from What is an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)? – Part I]
Online Platforms that Facilitate Trading in ICO Tokens are Not Registered Exchanges
There are no ICO platforms currently registered as exchanges. Further, the SEC has stated that it neither regulates these platforms as exchanges nor reviews the digital assets that may be listed or traded on these platforms. Many fraudulent platforms refer to themselves as exchanges to provide a sense of legitimacy and make investors assume they are regulated entities or meet the regulatory requirements and standards of a national securities exchange.
Digital assets such as cryptocurrencies, as well as other crypto coins and tokens, may be offered to investors in the form of an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). But what is an ICO? And why are they such a regulatory hot topic in the securities industry currently?
Cryptocurrency (also spelled crypto currency) is everyone’s new favorite hot topic. Even if you’ve done no research into the topic, you’ve probably heard of the most (in)famous cryptocurrency: Bitcoin. But what are cryptocurrencies? And how are they affecting the securities industry?
On June 27, 2016, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued an alert for investors to be careful with any communications seemingly sent from the SEC. Government impersonators are targeting victims of previous frauds.
These impersonators are sending official-looking documents to investors, often claiming that they can help the investor recover their investment-related losses. But, of course, the investor must pay a fee first. Usually, this fee is disguised as some sort of tax, deposit, or refundable insurance bond that the investor must pay. Read More…