The Security and Exchange Commission created a mock website promoting Howeycoins ICO with the purpose to educate investors of the risks related to ICOs. While the site looks like a typical ICO landing page, if you try to purchase coins, you will be redirected to an Investor.gov landing page.
"Welcome to Investor.gov, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s site designed for individual investors. We’ve recently seen fraudsters pretending to be involved in blockchain technology, initial coin offerings, and crypto-currencies – when really they are simply operating scams designed to take investors’ hard-earned money. We created the bogus HoweyCoins.com site as an educational tool to alert investors to possible fraud involving digital assets like crypto-currencies and coin offerings."
"Fortunately, frauds like these often have a number of “red flags” that can help you tell if the so-called “investment opportunity” is really a scam. Our bogus site is a mash-up of a number of different things we've seen – any particular fraud may be harder to spot than the red flags here. Here are some of the signs of fraud that are on the HoweyCoins site – we hope reviewing these may help you recognize a real fraud in the future!"
The investor.gov site goes on to describe common red flags found with ICOs and other scams.
- CLAIMS OF HIGH, GUARANTEED RETURNS
- CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS
- CLAIMS OF “SEC-COMPLIANT”
- INVESTING WITH A CREDIT CARD
- PUMP AND DUMP SCAMS
While the site is fairly well done, it is pretty obvious it is sketchy even under casual viewing. Unfortunately, many people don't do much more than casual viewing before they start breaking out their wallet for the next shiny thing to FOMO over.
The gold plan does look nice though...