Tuesday, February 20, 2018

US SEC is hunting down pump & dump groups - preparing for legal action, and offering rewards to whistleblowers!

A couple weeks ago I covered the SEC's first face to face with US Congress members (link) - the results had the cryptocurrency world overjoyed - they were surprisingly supportive of it - but made one thing clear: scammers beware.

One of those scams is an old one, the "pump and dump" - where a group of people get together, and pump funds into a stock, or cryptocurrency - sending the price up, that's the "pump". The hope is innocent investors see this rise and want to get on board too - that's when they "dump" - taking their profits, sending the price back down and leaving the later-comers holding massive losses.

Today the SEC announced - they're on the hunt for these groups. Stating in a consumer advisory notice:

"Blow the whistle on pump-and-dump schemers. Virtual currency and digital token pump and-dump schemes continue because they are mostly anonymous.

If you have original information that leads to a successful enforcement action that leads to monetary sanctions of $1 million or more, you could be eligible for a monetary award of between 10 percent and 30 percent.

For more information, or to submit a tip, visit the CFTC’s website."

Some of these groups are surprisingly easy to find, and bold enough to literally put the words "pump and dump" in their name. They can be found virtually on every social network or mobile chat app like Telegram or Slack.

We assume the SEC has already found those, but others have been a bit more cautious, some even charging a monthly fee to be a member or require going through some kind of approval process.

That's where putting together a group of greedy, shady investors will backfire - with the SEC offering a hefty reward for information, let the backstabbing begin!

Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk