The Securities and Exchange Commission is using trading suspensions more frequently to stop microcap stock “pump and dump” schemes, SEC Chairman Mary Jo White said today.

In prepared remarks at an annual SIFMA compliance seminar in Orlando, Fla., she noted the SEC issued 255 suspensions in February on the suspicions of stock price manipulation and has taken more than 1,000 of the measures in the last two years.

In pump and dump, promoters artificially pump up a stock price and then sell it before investors become aware of the scheme.

According to White, the SEC is on the lookout for pump and dump activity not only among issuers, but from promoters, attorneys, auditors, broker-dealers and others.

She said the SEC’s increased emphasis on financial reporting fraud has led to actions against over 80 issuers, officers and directors; instituted proceedings against auditors; and the revocation of the registration of more than 60 issuers.

Speaking to insider trading, White said the SEC is committed to going after violators in civil actions even if there is insufficient evidence for a criminal prosecution because strong deterrence is important.