On April 4, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued an Investor Alert warning investors of fraud attempts involving individuals posing as SEC employees in order to gain sensitive information or steal money. The fraudulent schemes may involve a phone call or email offering to help investors purchase stock or confirm trades. The alert notes that the "SEC does not contact investors to confirm trades, set up trading accounts, or record the details of trades."
ACA Aponix Guidance
The information requested by SEC impersonators could be used to attempt fund transfers, ascertain trading strategies, obtain material non-public information, and otherwise gather information that could be used to target clients and investors. To prevent your firm from becoming a victim of this investor scheme, as well as other types of investor fraud, we recommend taking the following precautions:
- Be wary of potential vishing or phishing attempts, in particular from individuals claiming to be a government official. Sender email addresses and caller IDs can be easily spoofed.
- Conduct in-person training to educate your staff on how to identify vishing and phishing campaigns, and use relevant examples such as this scheme.
- Confirm the authenticity of suspicious emails by calling the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) at 1-800-732-0330 or emailing the SEC at Help@SEC.gov.
- Report someone impersonating an SEC employee by submitting a Complaint Form to the SEC’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) or calling the OIG’s toll-free hotline at (877) 442-0854.
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If you have any questions, please contact your ACA Aponix consultant or email us at email@example.com.