UPDATE 1-Ebola becomes latest stock scam, U.S. SEC says

Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:45am EST
 
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(Adds background, attempts to reach the companies, quote from SEC)

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON Nov 20 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators on Thursday suspended trading in four small over-the-counter stocks of companies that they said have been touting the development of products to prevent or treat the Ebola virus, and warned investors to beware of similar scams.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it had suspended trading in the shares of New York-based Bravo Enterprises Ltd, California-based Immunotech Laboratories Inc, Canada-based Myriad Interactive Media Inc and Wholehealth Products Inc, which is also located in California.

The SEC also issued a warning that "con artists" may be soliciting investors and claiming to be developing treatments or medicine to prevent the deadly virus.

Company officials at Bravo Enterprises Ltd, Immunotech Laboratories Inc and Myriad Interactive Media could not be immediately reached for comment.

A woman who answered the phone at Wholehealth Products hung up after saying the company was private.

In 2013, the SEC stepped up its enforcement in microcap fraud with the creation of a new task force that specializes in penny and microcap markets.

From time to time, the SEC issues investor alerts, especially when fraudsters try to lure investors using topics that feature prominently in the news, such as earthquakes or hurricanes.   Continued...