Aint Nothing but a Gangter Party.

Like cryptocurrency and cannabis, the coronavirus pandemic may attract fraudsters keen to profit off demand for tests and treatments (MarketWatch).

 Recent trading suspensions issued in connection with coronavirus/COVID-19 include:

The Securities and Exchange Commission has taken enforcement action against 23 companies in connection with statements made relating to COVID-19 and is warning investors to beware of fraud, illicit schemes and other misconduct during the pandemic.

The latest moves came Wednesday, when the SEC halted trading of Salt Lake City, Utah-based Predictive Technology Group Inc. PRED, -27.10% and New York-based SCWorx Corp. WORX, -6.42% over questions regarding the accuracy of public information about their plans to sell COVID-19 tests.

“The Enforcement Division is committing substantial resources to ensuring that our Main Street investors are not victims of fraud or illegal practices in these unprecedented market and economic conditions,” the SEC said in a March 23 statement.

Many small biotech companies and microcaps that trade over the counter are not obliged to make the same financial disclosures as bigger companies. But some have seen their stocks soar on hopes they will be able to cash in on the need for testing and treatments for the pandemic, which has infected 2.67 million people worldwide and caused 186,131 fatalities, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.

In February when the virus was beginning to hit the headlines in the U.S., the SEC warned of the possible emergence of fraudsters, who would use the news to lure investors into scams. The regulator highlighted the proliferation of internet promotions, often using social media, claiming products or services that could prevent, detect or cure the virus, and that would lead those companies’ stocks to rise dramatically as a result.

Look Out for Coronavirus-Related Investment Scams – Investor Alert (SEC).

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