CFTC News Release 4399-00

For Release May 15, 2000

CFTC PARTICIPATES IN INTERNATIONAL "INTERNET SURF" DAY TO UNCOVER FRAUDULENT PROMOTION OF COMMODITY SCHEMES

WASHINGTON – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that it participated in an international Internet Surf Day which targeted futures and securities fraud and abuse on the Internet.

The Surf Day, organized by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), took place on March 28, 2000, and included the participation of approximately 220 individuals from 21 regulators in 18 countries. Participants identified more than 1,000 Internet web sites for follow up review, including approximately 250 sites that involved cross border activity.

CFTC staff were joined in their efforts by staff from the National Futures Association (NFA). In total, CFTC and NFA participants devoted 130 hours to the surf and identified dozens of sites for further review, a number of which involved cross border activity.

The sites identified for follow-up review by CFTC and NFA staff involved a variety of trading opportunities, including foreign currencies, stock indices, precious metals and energy products. Some claimed profits based on the seasonality of commodities (for example, heating oil and gasoline). Other sites advertised computerized trading systems of various kinds, boasting large profit potential while minimizing risk of loss.

According to Phyllis Cela, CFTC Acting Director of Enforcement, IOSCO’s International Internet Surf Day provided a unique opportunity for IOSCO members to coordinate their identification of potentially fraudulent activity on the Internet and send a clear signal to wrongdoers that they cannot escape detection:

International cooperative efforts like the IOSCO Internet Surf Day are a key component of effective enforcement in a global marketplace. The CFTC is committed to protecting US customers from bogus claims about commodity investment opportunities, wherever they occur. Joining forces with other IOSCO members around the world enhances our effectiveness in stopping fraud and educating the public.

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Notes to Editors:

On May 1, 2000 the CFTC filed 10 enforcement actions involving fraudulent activity on the Internet by promoters of commodity trading systems. CFTC Release No. 4397-00 (www.cftc.gov/opa/enf00/4397-00.htm). The CFTC simultaneously issued a Consumer Advisory warning the public about the risks of trading and some steps they can take to educate

themselves before trading or purchasing a trading system. CFTC May 1, 2000 Advisory (www.cftc.gov/enf/00orders/posting4-tradingsystem.htm).

Other Advisories issued by the CFTC include:

For further information about IOSCO International Internet Surf Day, contact Peter Clark, IOSCO Secretary General at 514.875.8278.

List of participating IOSCO members and websites:

IOSCO Member Organization

Website Address

AUSTRALIA - Australian Securities and Investments Commission http://www.asic.gov.au/
CANADA - Ontario Securities Commission http://www.osc.gov.on.ca/
CANADA - Commission des Valeurs Mobilières du Québec http://www.cvmq.com/
FRANCE - Commission des Opérations de Bourse http://www.cob.fr/
GERMANY - Bundesaufsichtsamt Für Den Wertpapierhandel http://www.bawe.de/index.htm
GREECE – Capital Market Commission eleftheria@aueb.gr
HONG KONG - Securities and Futures Commission http://www.hksfc.org.hk/eng/index.htm
ITALY - Commissionne Nazionale Per Le Societa E La Borsa http://www.consob.it/
JAPAN - Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission http://www.fsa.go.jp/sesc/sesc-j.html
MEXICO - Comision Nacional Bancaria y de Valores De Mexico http://www.cnbv.gob.mx/index.htm
NETHERLANDS - Stichting Toezicht Effectenverkeer http://www.ste.nl/
NORWAY – Kredittilsynet http://www.kredittilsynet.no/
POLAND - Polish Securities and Exchange Commission http://kpwig.gov.pl
PORTUGAL - Commissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários http://www.cmvm.pt/
SPAIN - Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores http://www.cnmv.es/
SWEDEN – Finansinspektionen http://www.fi.se/
SWITZERLAND - Swiss Federal Banking Commission http://www.sfbc.admin.ch/
UNITED KINGDOM - Financial Services Authority http://www.fsa.gov.uk/
UNITED STATES - Commodity Futures Trading Commission http://www.cftc.gov/
UNITED STATES - National Futures Association http://www.nfa.futures.org/
UNITED STATES - Securities and Exchange Commission http://www.sec.gov/

 

Many of the above-listed IOSCO members will announce separately the results of their participation in the International Internet Surf Day. You can contact the members directly for further information.

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