The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an investor alert last Friday, warning people against fraudsters impersonating the regulator and communicating with people.
“We are aware that several individuals recently received phone calls or voicemail messages that appeared to be from an SEC phone number,” the supervisory agency stated.
These impersonators are communicating through multiple channels including phone calls, voicemails, emails, and letters, raising concerns about unauthorized transactions or other suspicious activity in the recipients’ checking or cryptocurrency accounts.
“These phone calls and voicemail messages are in no way connected to the SEC,” the regulator stressed. “If you receive a communication that appears to be from the SEC, do not provide any personal information unless you have verified that you are dealing with the SEC.”
Beware When Sharing Information
In addition, the US agency clarified that it never seeks money as a penalty or disgorgement for any alleged wrongdoings without going through proper enforcement actions.
“SEC staff do not make unsolicited communications, including phone calls, voicemail messages, or emails, asking for payments related to enforcement actions, offering to confirm trades, or seeking detailed personal and financial information,” the SEC added.
“Again, never provide information to someone claiming to be from the SEC until you have verified that the person actually works for the SEC.”
Meanwhile, the US regulator is not the first to be impersonated by the scammers to scare and dupe investors. Earlier this year, the Cypriot financial market regulator red-flagged a fake website that was impersonating it, which was hosted in India. Though impersonation of the regulator is not very common, the authorities around the world are regularly warning against clones of legitimate financial services platforms.
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