"Trips are expensive, but we are at the dawn of a revolution that will democratize travel and recreation for everyone," reads in the breathless white newspaper of HoweyCoins. "Internet was the first part of the revolution.The other part is blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies."
"I'm all about HoweyCoins – this thing will appear at the top!" Writes @ boxingchamp1934, an official sponsor of the celebrity token. The site is full of beautiful beaches has a beautiful team of men and women international and technology is nowhere to be seen, buried under a sea of excitement. The white paper is complete and well written, focusing on the future potential. Riches are waiting for you if you invest in HoweyCoin, the last ICO opportunity of trusted people.
Where do they do it?
They do not do it. All this breathless optimism is a site created by the US Securities Exchange Commission to warn investors of scams and problems associated with symbolic sales. The site features all the trademarks of a scammy security token, including multi-level pre-sale prices and an urgent clock countdown timer.
The site features a number of red flags that the SEC encourages users to watch, including, more importantly, claims that tokens can only go up in value. They write:
Each investment has a certain degree of risk, which is reflected in the rate of return you can expect to receive. High returns entail high risks, which may include a total loss on investments. Most scammers spend a lot of time trying to convince investors that extremely high returns are "guaranteed" or "can not be missed".
The SEC also notes that "it's never a good idea to make an investment decision simply because a famous says that a product or service is a good investment "and that it is never a good idea to invest with a credit card.
They also warn against the language of pumping and dump found on many pages of the ICO. "Our last two pumps have doubled the value for the period immediately after the pump for yields of over 225%," wrote the "creators" of HoweyCoin, a non-giant in the world of investing.
You can read the rest of the red flags here.
While the site is quite comical, it is sufficiently complete and would mislead the casual observer. The SEC has also released a real white paper that makes it clear that everyone can string together a buzzword can write a passable investment flyer. That it is now a service accessible to all – for a price – makes things even more scary.
The site is part of the SEC's outreach efforts to help investors understand the IFAs.
"The strong investor protection is part of what makes the US markets so strong … and the balance, [between innovation and investor protection] is very important," said the head of the SEC Cyber Unit Robert Cohen at the Consensus this week. During the same panel, the SEC said its doors were always open to questions.
In the end, there is little that separates scams from actual chip sales. This is a problem. The SEC is framing this problem in its own way based on decades of treating the pink leaf pump and discharging and hacking fast. Although HoweyCoins is not real there are a lot of crooks out there and at least something like this phony website makes it easier to spot the warning signs.