US SEC and CFTC warn against false claims about agency endorsements

The two regulators have warned that fraudsters are making false claims about SEC and CFTC endorsements to lure people into "purchasing digital assets and to artificially raise their value"

What has happened?

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have warned against false claims about agency actions and endorsements related to digital assets.

What does this mean?

The SEC and the CFTC have issued an investor alert, warning that fraudsters are making false claims about SEC and CFTC endorsements to lure people into "purchasing digital assets and to artificially raise their value".

The agencies said that examples of false claims include:

  • Having advance knowledge of future agency actions to approve new financial products that derive their value from digital assets.
  • Using the SEC or CFTC seal on promotional materials related to digital assets.
  • Advertising that SEC and CFTC officials are working with certain digital industry participants to bring their financial products to the market.

"Be skeptical of anyone attempting to sell you digital assets, or any investment, that makes claims about future SEC or CFTC actions," the agencies said.

The release said that all official actions, including those regarding digital assets, are announced through official government sources or authorised public statements.

The agencies also added that they "do not endorse or sponsor" any particular firms, services, products or people.

"Do not trust information provided by someone contacting you with an investment idea when that person claims to be affiliated with any federal government agency, and always be cautious about providing personal information to anyone you do not personally know," the agencies warned.

The warning comes after the SEC obtained an emergency court order stopping an initial coin offering whose backers falsely claimed had been approved by the agency.

Next steps

If you want to take advantage of blockchain's huge potential and disruptive impact, while avoiding falling foul of ever-developing regulatory and legal requirements, visit our Hogan Lovells Engage Blockchain Toolkit.

Contacts
Gregory Lisa
Partner
Washington D.C.

 

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