The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently issued an Investor Alert warning investors about fraudsters impersonating SEC employees. The SEC says it has been flooded with complaints about individuals, claiming to be SEC employees, calling or emailing unsuspecting investors with offers of large sums of money (such as $450,000), if the investor deposits a much smaller amount ($1,500, for example) into a specified account. In an attempt to add an element of legitimacy to the call, the fraudster may use the name of a legitimate company and refer the investor to an operating website.
The SEC reiterated in the Alert that it does not contact investors to:
• Obtain assistance with a fund transfer;
• Forward investment offers;
• Advise individuals that they own certain securities;
• Advise investors that they are eligible for disbursements from a class action settlement; or
• Offer financial assistance in return for payment of an upfront fee.
If you are contacted by someone claiming to be an SEC employee, use the SEC’s personnel locator (202) 551-6000 to verify whether the individual is actually an SEC staff member. You may also call the SEC at (800) 732-0330 for general information. If someone has contacted you falsely claiming to be an SEC employee, you should report it to the SEC.
Investors nationwide who have been the victim of financial fraud, may contact the Florida securities arbitration attorneys at McCabe Rabin, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation by calling toll free at 877.915.4040 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.