Each year the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) receives over 10,000 tips, complaints and referrals from people who wish to report securities laws violations. Over the last five years, the number of tips the SEC received has increased across the board, but certain categories of wrongdoing have been reported more frequently. Luckily, the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower provides a breakdown of the categories of misconduct being reported each year. As over 75% of people who reported to the SEC also reported internally at their company, these figures provide a unique insight into what misconduct is being reported through internal reporting channels.
Our infographic shows that over the last five years, three categories of wrongdoing have consistently ranked as the most frequently reported:
- Market manipulation;
- Offering fraud; and
- Corporate disclosure issues.
The figures also suggest that while the top categories of wrongdoing have generally stayed the same, issues that have become popular on social media have generated more reports. For example, reports involving cryptocurrency have skyrocketed since 2019 and reports regarding cryptocurrency now rank as the third most commonly reported violation. In addition, following the Wall Street Bets phenomenon in 2021, reports of market manipulation tripled. For more insight into the figures, check out our infographic below.