The SEC has issued an investor alert to warn of impersonators who claim to be SEC employees for the purpose of defrauding individuals.
A recent spate of complaints has centered on a scam in which these phony SEC employees contact investors by phone and try to convince them that, if they deposit a sum of money (for instance, $1,500) into a specified account, they will receive a much larger sum. The SEC says that in some of these cases investors are promised $450,000. Some of these solicitations may use the name of a legitimate company and refer prospective investors to an operating website.
Of course the account has nothing to do with the SEC and all that happens is that the unwary investor loses the money.
The SEC stressed that it does not endorse investment offers, assist in the purchase or sale of securities, or participate in money transfers. Nor is the SEC affiliated with any sweepstakes, drawings, lotteries, or other types of events that feature prizes or winnings or cash windfalls.