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Surfing for Scammers

Surfing for Scammers

Internet scammers will be particular targets for the Securities Commission today. The Commission is taking part in an internet surveillance campaign to identify websites that do not comply with securities law.

“Investments offered on the internet are subject to the same securities laws that apply to offers made in more conventional advertising,” the Commission’s Director of Enforcement, Norman Miller said.

“People using websites to promote investments should ensure they are complying with securities law. They should seek legal advice about their obligations under the law before they start up.”

The “surf day” is a project of the Asia Pacific Regional Committee of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). Regulators in Canada, India, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and China are taking part, and results are being co-ordinated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Information collected by “surfers” will be made available to all the participating countries.

During the last surf day, in April 2001, more than 27,000 websites were visited in 1,200 hours of participation by 38 regulators. Surfers in New Zealand visited 416 sites. “We followed up several where we had concerns,” Norman Miller said.

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