SEC Launches HoweyCoin ICO Parody Website
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a mock website highlighting the dangers of investing in initial coin offerings (ICOs).
The website, HoweyCoins.com, uses many of the same sales tactics used by fraudulent ICOs. The name of the website, of course, is a reference to the Howey Test – the landmark Supreme Court decision that defined what a security is.
Today, ICOs are often focused on whether or not they “pass the Howey Test”. If an ICO “passes the Howey Test”, that means the digital token they’re selling is not considered to be a security. Many ICOs, of course, are blatantly selling securities that represent shares in the company, pay holders with dividends, or have other features that blatantly violate the Howey Test.
This latest project from the SEC involves a bogus ICO that advertises an investment opportunity that, as the website explains, is “too good to be true.”
The US-based regulator built the website to highlight the dangers of investing in ICOs. The SEC, of course, hasn’t completely banned ICOs across the country, although they do believe the industry is filled with scam opportunities.
At HoweyCoins.com, you’ll see many of the same sales tactics seen on ICO websites and advertisements. The end result is a website that educates users about the dangers of ICOs in a creative way.
The website also links to SEC resources and tutorials. When you click on any of the “Buy Coins Now” buttons on the website, for example, you’ll see a tooltip appear explaining why you shouldn’t have clicked on that button.
The SEC has done its part to combat ICO fraud. In January 2018, the agency stopped a fast-moving ICO that was seeking to raise an incredible $1 billion from thousands of investors in an effort to create “the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency bank.” That project was a complete scam.
As reported by Finance Magnates, the SEC is hoping the HoweyCoins.com website deters investors from participating in ridiculous investment opportunities:
“Fraudsters can quickly build an attractive website and load it up with convoluted jargon to lure investors into phony deals,” explained Owen Donley, Chief Counsel of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy. “But fraudulent sites also often have red flags that can be dead giveaways if you know what to look for.”
Visit HoweyCoins.com today to see what the SEC created. At first glance, the website looks very similar to any ICO website. There’s a massive countdown timer to the pre-ICO, for example. There’s a list of reasons to invest and make money through the platform.
“HoweyCoin is the newest and only coin offering that captures the magic of coin trading profits AND the excitement and guaranteed returns of the travel industry,” explains the website.
The site goes on to make various grandiose claims about how they’re targeting the travel industry, how they’re registered with the US government, and how the coins will be traded on an SEC-compliant exchange. For all of these reasons and more, HoweyCoin’s illustrious team expects a modest return of 1% to 2% ROI per day.
There’s even a HoweyCoins whitepaper that you can view here: https://www.howeycoins.com/files/howeycoin_white_paper.pdf
Meanwhile, the team section is filled with vague names and titles, including co-founder Ashley Turnbull, who’s labeled as the “Head Travel Strategist” of the company. Below the team section, you’ll find testimonials from “real celebrities” – including fake professional boxers and fake famous drummers.
As a final push to investors, the HoweyCoins.com website mentions investors can expect returns of 1% to 2% per day – similar to the returns offered by many lending scams and similar fraudulent ICOs online.
Ultimately, HoweyCoins.com is a tongue-in-cheek website with a good message about the dangers of ICOs and the red flags investors should watch for. You can view the website online today here: https://www.howeycoins.com