Email from the SEC these days carries an ad banner for the HoweyCoins Travel Network. It’s pitching a not-to-be-missed Pre-Initial Coin Offering deal.
The click-through site at HoweyCoins.com says anticipated returns are over 1 percent daily, with double 2 percent returns for pre-ICO stage secured purchases.
“The average registered coin return over a two month period in 2017 was an amazing 72%,” according to the site.
There’s a 15 percent bonus that an animated countdown clock says ends in 14 days, 22 hours, 24 minutes, and 8 seconds . . . 7 . . . 6 . . . 5 . . .
Hold on. There’s one problem. HoweyCoins are fake. Completely phony.
The SEC said it “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.”
When you click to buy HoweyCoins there are red flags that scream fraud.
- HoweyCoins are officially registered with the U.S. government
- HoweyCoins will trade on an SEC-compliant exchange where you can buy and sell them for profit
- HoweyCoins can be used with existing points programs
- HoweyCoins can be exchanged for cryptocurrencies and cash
- HoweyCoins can be spent at any participating airline or hotel, and
- HoweyCoins can also be redeemed for merchandise.
Our favorite feature on HoweyCoins.com is the “Meet the Team” section. There are photos of six hipsters who run “the company,” including “Wayne Roswell Head of Legal.”
And at the bottom of the landing page are celebrity endorsements. “I’m all about HoweyCoins – this thing is going to pop at the top!” from @boxingchamp1934.
Hmmm. Didn’t Floyd “Crypto” Mayweather endorse a red-hot ICO deal . . . ?
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.