As our country combats the COVID-19 pandemic, the SEC is sharing information with Main Street investors about how to remain vigilant against financial fraud related to this crisis.
While many of us are looking out for our families and neighbors during this difficult time, fraudsters are looking for new ways to steal money by preying on people’s anxieties. The SEC remains fully operational and has halted trading in a number of stocks in connection with COVID-19. A full list can be found here under the Enforcement, Examinations and Investor Education tab.
The best protection against fraud is education. To that end, the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the Division of Enforcement’s Retail Strategy Task Force issued an Investor Alert detailing some of the most common frauds and how to spot them. The alert highlights scams like fraudulent stock promotions, unregistered offerings, phony charitable investments, affinity fraud, and fake products offering high returns.
Even more important than educating yourself is sharing the information with those who need it most. The SEC is continuing to speak directly with investors during this time. For example, SEC Philadelphia Office Director Kelly Gibson participated in a telephone-town hall with nearly 10,000 participants in the Philadelphia region to answer questions about potential fraud. We continue to look for other outreach opportunities. With your help we can reach thousands more.
One of the easiest ways to help at-risk friends and family from a safe distance is to share this information and encourage them to reach out to the SEC if they have questions. Call OIEA at 1-800-732-0330, ask a question using this online form, or email at Help@SEC.gov.
Modified: May 18, 2020