The Securities and Exchange Commission warned investors Wednesday about investment schemes and other frauds being conducted by agency impersonators.
The agency’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy’s Investor Alert announced that fraudsters are claiming to be SEC employees in order to trick investors into sending them money or revealing sensitive account information.
An audio recording of an actual imposter making a fraudulent pitch is also included in the alert.
The securities regulators warned investors that if they receive an email or phone call from someone claiming to be from the SEC to “confirm” your purchase of a security or to help you trade a stock, it is likely to be a scam.
“Do not send them money or give them your account information,” the alert states, as the SEC does not contact investors to confirm trades, set up trading accounts or record the details of trades.
Federal government agencies, including the SEC, also “do not endorse or sponsor any particular securities, issuers, products, services, professional credentials, firms or individuals.”
In some cases, after investors have been solicited to buy shares of a stock, they may receive a call or email from someone pretending to be with the SEC to verify or to confirm the transaction, the alert states.
“Any correspondence you receive purportedly from the SEC confirming a specific securities transaction is a red flag of fraud,” the alert said.