The United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) ongoing efforts to crimp dodgy cryptocurrency dealings has seen it create a fake initial coin offering that, ironically, lures the credulous with an offer to replace one weird pseudo-currency – loyalty scheme points – with cryptocurrency.
howeycoins.com claims to spruik “the newest and only coin offering that captures the magic of coin trading profits AND the excitement and guaranteed returns of the travel industry.”
How does it do that, we hear you ask?
“HoweyCoins will partner with all segments of the travel industry (air, hotel, car rental, and luxury segments), earning coins you can trade for profit instead of points,” the site promises, adding that HoweyCoins:
- are officially registered with the U.S. government;
- will trade on an SEC-compliant exchange where you can buy and sell them for profit;
- can be used with existing points programs;
- can be exchanged for cryptocurrencies and cash;
- can be spent at any participating airline or hotel;
- can also be redeemed for merchandise.
How can you sign up, we hear you ask?
Don’t bother, because if you click the Buy Coins Now! button you won’t be offered the sweet chance to get in on the ground floor of this amazing opportunity. Instead you’ll land at an investor.gov page explaining that howeycoins.com contains lots of elements of real cryptocurrency scams.
“We 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,” the page says, going on to explain the features that HoweyCoins.com shares with real scams
The SEC has repeatedly warned about cryptocurrencies, telling those who sell them to stay on the right side of securities laws and companies trying to cash in by changing their names to block-something that they are being watched.
That the SEC needs to consider such action supports Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet’s recently-voiced opinion that cryptocurrencies attract “people who are of less than stellar character” and “will come to a bad end.”
Even Facebook thinks cryptocurrencies are often crook, and has banned ads for them to stop its members being fleeced (while still not figuring out how to stop them being fooled into all manner of other conspiratorial junk). ®