The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued an alert that warns investors about a person who is falsely claiming to be an employee of the SEC and offering to provide assistance with settling federal tax obligations with the U.S.  Internal Revenue Service.

“In communications with members of the public, the name used by this individual is ‘Steven Cooper.’ The individual also used the e-mail address steven_cooper@usa.com and includes purported correspondence to a fake SEC employee by the name of ‘Gordon Green,’” the SEC said in an investor alert released Wednesday.

Investors should beware that the so-called Steven Cooper is not affiliated with the SEC and is not an employee of a U.S.  government agency.

“If you're ever unsure whether you're dealing with someone from the real SEC, use our online Question Form to ask us, or call one of our offices listed in the Contact Us section of our website,” the SEC said. “It's not hard to figure out who the real regulators are and how you can contact them.”

In other recent fraud news, members of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee questioned the SEC’s Inspector General regarding the IG’s finding that it took the securities regulator 12 years to finally put a stop to Robert Stanford’s $8 billion Ponzi scheme.

For additional tips on investing wisely and avoiding fraud, please visit the following web pages on the SEC’s website:

Read about other fraud cases on AdvisorOne.com.