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Investor Alerts and Bulletins

Investor Alerts and Bulletins

 

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy provides a variety of services and tools to address problems you may face as an investor. Investor Alerts, focused on recent investment frauds and scams, and Investor Bulletins, focused on topical issues including recent Commission actions, are provided as a service to investors. They are neither legal interpretations nor statements of SEC policy. If you have questions concerning the meaning or application of a particular law or rule, please consult with an attorney who specializes in securities law. Subscribe to get Investor Alerts and Bulletins by email.


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Date Title Category
June 18, 2014 Investor Alert: Affinity Fraud
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to help educate investors about affinity fraud, a type of investment scam that preys upon members of identifiable groups, such as religious or ethnic communities or the elderly.
Enforcement
Investor Education and Advocacy
June 2, 2014 INVESTOR ALERT: INVESTMENT NEWSLETTERS USED AS TOOLS FOR FRAUD
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to help investors avoid fraudulent schemes that may be carried out through investment newsletters.
Investor Education and Advocacy
Enforcement
Investment Management
May 16, 2014 INVESTOR ALERT: MARIJUANA-RELATED INVESTMENTS
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to warn investors about potential risks involving investments in marijuana-related companies.
Investor Education and Advocacy
Enforcement
Corporation Finance
Trading and Markets
May 7, 2014 INVESTOR ALERT: BITCOIN AND OTHER VIRTUAL CURRENCY-RELATED INVESTMENTS
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to make investors aware about the potential risks of investments involving Bitcoin and other forms of virtual currency.
Investor Education and Advocacy
Corporation Finance
Enforcement
March 20, 2014 INVESTOR ALERT: BEWARE OF FALSE CLAIMS OF SEC REGISTRATION
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to warn investors about potentially fraudulent investment schemes that involve individuals or firms misrepresenting that they are registered with the SEC. Investors should be careful to check the background, including license and registration status, of any person who tries to sell them an investment product or service, and should avoid investing with anyone who falsely represents that they are registered with the SEC.
Investor Education and Advocacy
Corporation Finance
Enforcement
Nov. 1, 2013 Delinquent Filings
The Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to provide investors with information on the SEC's Delinquent Filings Program.
Enforcement
Trading and Markets
Corporation Finance
Oct. 1, 2013 Investment Scams Exploit Immigrant Investor Program
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services are jointly issuing this Investor Alert to warn individual investors about fraudulent investment scams that exploit the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as "EB-5."
Enforcement
Oct. 1, 2013 SEC Warns of Fake Correspondence
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to warn investors about fraudulent solicitations using correspondence claiming to be from SEC staff and Commissioners (including phony letters using the SEC seal and purporting to be signed by Commissioner Daniel Gallagher).
Enforcement
Oct. 1, 2013 Beware of Pyramid Schemes Posing as Multi-Level Marketing Programs
The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to warn individual investors about pyramid schemes, a type of investment scam that fraudsters often pitch as a legitimate business opportunity in the form of multi-level marketing programs.
Enforcement
July 1, 2013 Ponzi Schemes Using Virtual Currencies (pdf)
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this investor alert to warn individual investors about fraudulent investment schemes that may involve Bitcoin and other virtual currencies.
Enforcement
June 1, 2013 Don't Trade on Pump-And-Dump Stock Emails
FINRA and the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy are issuing this Investor Alert to warn investors to be on the lookout for email spam promoting “pump-and-dump” stock scams.
Enforcement
June 1, 2013 Beware Investment Offers Implying SEC Endorsement
The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to help investors identify fraudulent investment offers made by firms purporting to have met with the SEC, including in international locations (such as Dubai). SEC staff is aware of a number of fraudulent schemes where the person offering the so-called investment refers to meetings with the SEC as a way of convincing potential investors that the fraudulent investment opportunity is legitimate. 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.
Enforcement
June 1, 2013 Binary Options and Fraud (pdf)
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Office of Consumer Outreach (CFTC) are issuing this Investor Alert to warn investors about fraudulent promotion schemes involving binary options and binary options trading platforms. These schemes allegedly involve, among other things, the refusal to credit customer accounts or reimburse funds to customers, identity theft, and manipulation of software to generate losing trades.
Enforcement
May 1, 2013 Private Oil and Gas Offerings (pdf)
The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this alert to educate individual investors about certain risks and possible fraudulent activity involving private offerings of securities for oil and gas ventures.
Enforcement
Corporation Finance
May 1, 2013 SEC Warns of Bogus Securities Regulators Soliciting Investors
Securities and Exchange Commission staff is issuing this Investor Alert in response to a number of fraudulent solicitations currently underway that purport to be affiliated with or sponsored by the federal government and legitimate securities regulators. If you are contacted by an organization calling itself the "Chicago Division of Securities," the "Division of Securities, Chicago Illinois," the "Federal Division of Securities, New York" or the "New York Securities Division," be aware that they are not affiliated with the Securities and Exchange Commission and are not legitimate securities regulators. They are scams.
Enforcement
April 1, 2013 SEC Warns of Government Impersonators (Updated)
Enforcement
Nov. 1, 2012 Be on the Lookout for Investment Scams Related to Hurricane Sandy
The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to help educate investors, including individuals who may receive lump sum payouts from insurance companies and others following Hurricane Sandy, about investment fraud.
Enforcement
Sept. 1, 2012 Affinity Fraud (pdf)
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to help educate investors about affinity fraud, a type of investment scam that preys upon members of identifiable groups, such as religious or ethnic communities or the elderly.
Enforcement
April 1, 2012 CMKM Diamonds Investors
Enforcement
Feb. 1, 2012 Investors Beware of Government Impersonators
Enforcement
Jan. 1, 2012 Social Media and Investing - Avoiding Fraud (pdf)
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to help investors be better aware of fraudulent investment schemes that may involve social media. U.S. retail investors are increasingly turning to social media, including Facebook,YouTube,Twitter, LinkedIn and other online networks for information about investing. Whether it be for research on particular stocks, background information on a broker-dealer or investment adviser, guidance on an overall investing strategy, up-to-date news, or to simply discuss the markets with others, social media has become a key tool for U.S. investors....
Enforcement
Oct. 1, 2011 Investment Seminars –- Trading Seminar Fraud
Enforcement
Oct. 1, 2011 The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act -– Prohibition of the Payment of Bribes to Foreign Officials
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) generally prohibits the bribing of foreign officials. The FCPA also requires publicly traded companies to maintain accurate books and records and to have a sys-tem of internal controls sufficient to provide reason-able assurances that transactions are executed and assets are accounted for in accordance with management’s authorization and recorded as necessary to permit the preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles (known as “GAAP”). The FCPA can apply to prohibited conduct anywhere in the world, even, in certain circumstances, where there is no U.S. territorial connection, and extends to publicly traded companies (“issuers”) and their officers, directors, employees, agents, and stockholders. Agents can include third party agents, consultants, distributors, joint-venture partners, and others.
Enforcement
Sept. 1, 2011 Self-Directed IRAs and the Risk of Fraud
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) are issuing this Investor Alert to warn investors of the potential risks associated with investing through self-directed Individual Retirement Accounts (self-directed IRAs).
Enforcement
Aug. 1, 2011 Investor Warning Regarding Possible Advance Fee Fraud Targeting Deaf Investors
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this update to alert investors, including deaf investors, about “Imperia Invest IBC” and similarly-named companies.
Enforcement
July 1, 2011 Cobell Indian Trust Settlement Payout Recipients - Be on the Lookout for Investment Scams (pdf)
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to help educate investors, including individuals receiving lump sum payouts from the federal government in connection with the $3.4 billion Indian Trust Settlement, about potential investment frauds that target recipients of lump sum payouts.
Enforcement
June 1, 2011 Stanford Investors
On March 12, 2009, U.S. District Court Judge David C. Godbey issued an order at the request of Stanford court-appointed receiver Ralph S. Janvey unfreezing approximately 16,000 Stanford investor accounts at Pershing LLC and J.P. Morgan Clearing Corp., unless an exception described in the order applies.
Enforcement
June 1, 2011 Information for Stanford Investors
On March 12, 2009, U.S. District Court Judge David C. Godbey issued an order at the request of Stanford court-appointed receiver Ralph S. Janvey unfreezing approximately 16,000 Stanford investor accounts at Pershing LLC and J.P. Morgan Clearing Corp., unless an exception described in the order applies.
Enforcement
June 1, 2011 Early Retirement Seminars: Smart Tips for Spotting Retirement Scams
Enforcement
March 18, 2011 Pre-IPO Investment Scams
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this updated Investor Alert to warn investors about investment scams that purport to offer investors the opportunity to buy pre-IPO shares of companies, including social media and technology companies such as Facebook and Twitter. SEC staff is aware of a number of complaints and inquiries about these types of frauds, which may be promoted on social media and internet sites, by telephone, email, in person, or by other means.
Enforcement
Oct. 1, 2010 Investor Warning Regarding Web-Based Scheme Defrauding Deaf Investors
The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has charged an Internet-based investment company, Imperia Invest IBC (“Imperia”), with securities fraud for soliciting several million dollars from U.S. investors and promising guaranteed annual returns in excess of 1.2% per day while in reality siphoning the funds into foreign bank accounts and not paying any money back to investors.
Enforcement
Oct. 1, 2010 BP Payout Recipients: Be on the Lookout for Investment Scams
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to help educate investors, including individuals and small businesses receiving lump sum payouts from BP related to the oil spill in the Gulf, about potential investment frauds that target recipients of lump sum payouts.
Enforcement
May 1, 2010 Investors Beware of Entity Calling Itself "U.S. Securities and Equities Administration"
The staff of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is issuing this Investor Alert about an entity calling itself the “U.S. Securities and Equities Administration” and other similar names, including the “U.S. Securities Administration” or the “U.S. Securities Bureau.”
Enforcement
May 1, 2010 Oil Spill Stock Scams - Don't Get Cleaned Out by False Cleanup Claims
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico poses more than an environmental and economic threat to the region. It also poses a financial threat to investors in the form of scams promising financial gains from investments in companies that claim to be involved in cleanup operations.
Enforcement
April 1, 2010 Investor Warning Relating to Eric V. Bartoli, Enrico Orlandini, and DT Analysis a/k/a and Dow Theory Analysis SAC
The staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has received credible information suggesting that an individual named Eric Bartoli, who was previously sued by the SEC for securities fraud, may currently be located in Peru and engaged in securities solicitations of investors, using the alias Enrico Orlandini.
Enforcement
March 1, 2010 SEC Investor Alert on Phony SIPC "Look-Alike" Website Targeting Madoff Victims
Enforcement
Jan. 1, 2010 Information for Reserve Primary Fund Investors
Enforcement
Dec. 1, 2009 Information Concerning Malaysian Restitution Fund for SwissCash Investors
This Alert concerns a restitution fund established by the Securities Commission Malaysian (“Malaysian SC”) in a settlement involving various entities operating under the name “Swisscash”, including “Swiss Mutual Fund (1948),” and through websites encompassing variations on the names “Swisscash” and “SwissMutualFund.”
Enforcement
June 1, 2009 Prime Bank Fraud Information Center
Enforcement
  
  
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Date

Date: June 18, 2014

Title: Investor Alert: Affinity Fraud

Category: Enforcement
Investor Education and Advocacy

Date: June 2, 2014

Title: INVESTOR ALERT: INVESTMENT NEWSLETTERS USED AS TOOLS FOR FRAUD

Category: Investor Education and Advocacy
Enforcement
Investment Management

Date: May 16, 2014

Title: INVESTOR ALERT: MARIJUANA-RELATED INVESTMENTS

Category: Investor Education and Advocacy
Enforcement
Corporation Finance
Trading and Markets

Date: May 7, 2014

Title: INVESTOR ALERT: BITCOIN AND OTHER VIRTUAL CURRENCY-RELATED INVESTMENTS

Category: Investor Education and Advocacy
Corporation Finance
Enforcement

Date: March 20, 2014

Title: INVESTOR ALERT: BEWARE OF FALSE CLAIMS OF SEC REGISTRATION

Category: Investor Education and Advocacy
Corporation Finance
Enforcement

Date: Nov. 1, 2013

Title: Delinquent Filings

Category: Enforcement
Trading and Markets
Corporation Finance

Date: Oct. 1, 2013

Title: Investment Scams Exploit Immigrant Investor Program

Category: Enforcement

Date: Oct. 1, 2013

Title: SEC Warns of Fake Correspondence

Category: Enforcement

Date: Oct. 1, 2013

Title: Beware of Pyramid Schemes Posing as Multi-Level Marketing Programs

Category: Enforcement

Date: July 1, 2013

Title: Ponzi Schemes Using Virtual Currencies (pdf)

Category: Enforcement

Date: June 1, 2013

Title: Don't Trade on Pump-And-Dump Stock Emails

Category: Enforcement

Date: June 1, 2013

Title: Beware Investment Offers Implying SEC Endorsement

Category: Enforcement

Date: June 1, 2013

Title: Binary Options and Fraud (pdf)

Category: Enforcement

Date: May 1, 2013

Title: Private Oil and Gas Offerings (pdf)

Category: Enforcement
Corporation Finance

Date: May 1, 2013

Title: SEC Warns of Bogus Securities Regulators Soliciting Investors

Category: Enforcement

Date: April 1, 2013

Title: SEC Warns of Government Impersonators (Updated)

Category: Enforcement

Date: Nov. 1, 2012

Title: Be on the Lookout for Investment Scams Related to Hurricane Sandy

Category: Enforcement

Date: Sept. 1, 2012

Title: Affinity Fraud (pdf)

Category: Enforcement

Date: April 1, 2012

Title: CMKM Diamonds Investors

Category: Enforcement

Date: Feb. 1, 2012

Title: Investors Beware of Government Impersonators

Category: Enforcement

Date: Jan. 1, 2012

Title: Social Media and Investing - Avoiding Fraud (pdf)

Category: Enforcement

Date: Oct. 1, 2011

Title: Investment Seminars –- Trading Seminar Fraud

Category: Enforcement

Date: Sept. 1, 2011

Title: Self-Directed IRAs and the Risk of Fraud

Category: Enforcement

Date: June 1, 2011

Title: Stanford Investors

Category: Enforcement

Date: June 1, 2011

Title: Information for Stanford Investors

Category: Enforcement

Date: June 1, 2011

Title: Early Retirement Seminars: Smart Tips for Spotting Retirement Scams

Category: Enforcement

Date: March 18, 2011

Title: Pre-IPO Investment Scams

Category: Enforcement

Date: Oct. 1, 2010

Title: Investor Warning Regarding Web-Based Scheme Defrauding Deaf Investors

Category: Enforcement

Date: Oct. 1, 2010

Title: BP Payout Recipients: Be on the Lookout for Investment Scams

Category: Enforcement

Date: Jan. 1, 2010

Title: Information for Reserve Primary Fund Investors

Category: Enforcement

Date: June 1, 2009

Title: Prime Bank Fraud Information Center

Category: Enforcement