SEC imposters - don’t be twice fooled

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“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” is an old adage. While there’s no shame in being the victim of a scam, nobody wants to be a victim twice. That’s why the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning consumers about a government imposter scam that targets people who’ve already been victims of fraud.

What’s happening? Scammers are pretending to be from the SEC. They reach out to you if you’ve already lost money from an investment fraud. They say that they’ll help you recover your losses for a fee. The scammers may copy the SEC seal or forge signatures of SEC officials, to try to make their messages look official. They may even link to the SEC’s website or make messages appear to come from SEC email accounts.

In another twist on the scam, these imposters claim that they’ll help you get money from an SEC action or a class action settlement – if you pay them a legal fee. Don’t be fooled. The government will never ask you to pay a fee to receive money from a settlement.

If you get a message that looks like it’s from the SEC, what should you do? Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t wire money. Scammers often pressure people into wiring money or putting money on a prepaid debit card. Don’t do it. It’s like sending cash: once you send it, you can’t get it back.
  • Don’t give the caller your personal or financial information. Never give out or confirm sensitive personal information –  like your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number –  unless you know who you’re dealing with. If someone has contacted you, then you can’t be sure who they are. Call them at a number you know to be correct.
  • When in doubt, check it out. If you’re not sure whether a message is really from the SEC, call the SEC’s toll-free investor assistance line at 800-732-0330 or submit a question to the SEC.

For more information on SEC imposters, read the SEC’s Investor Alert. And if you’ve been contacted by someone pretending to be from the SEC, report it to the SEC’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) or call the OIG toll-free at 877-442-0854.

Want to know more? Check out the FTC’s article, Government Imposter Scams.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I will carefully read it.. Thanks for sharing those important informations... from..annie.

Thanks for the info.

HI WE MADE IT.WE WILL SUFFER FOR IT.WE NEED BANKING TO COOPERATE AS TO PREVENT.THE THUMB OF ONES SELF.ALL WIRING MONEY TO ANY ONES ACCOUNT MUST PUT THERE THUMB ON THE EYE
THE WE WILL LOOK FOR IT IF THE EYE CAN NOT FIND IT YOU DO NOT GET THE MONEY.ALL ACCOUNTS WILL CAREY A PHOTO OF ONES SELF.THE PHOTO WILL CAREY THE THUMB.IT SOUNDS DAFT BUT YOU COULD USE YOUR FOOT.ITS LIKE I HAVE NO NEED TO HIDE.BY FROM JOHN.

Just becoming a victim of a scam ourselves in the amount of $11,985 with NO help from anyone we appreciate the info thanks

DOES ANYONE KNOW IF UNITED UNION BANK IS REAL?
THIS IS THEIR WEBSITE

I received a email from a banking that I have a 10 million dollars sitting waiting for me to let them no what bank account I want the money deposit contract citybank I pull email in scam box

I did too, Pat. Multiple in fact.

I just got scammed by thieves that claim they were from Advance America out of Houston, they put money in account and then told me to withdraw it and wire it to two different places and then they would give me an 8000 dollar loan. Well Thank God my bank was on top of this because the first deposit they did and I had removed the money came back as account closed, so of course it was not real, they didn't catch up to it until I received again more money in my account, went and only wired half of it, and returned the other half. These scammers need to be caught they prey on people who are desperate.. Now I owe my bank 2,000 for their scamming.. Really really ticked off.

Please report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.  If you have emails from the scammers, you can paste them into the text box on the complaint site.

You can also report the scammer's name & contact information to the wire transfer company that you used.

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