The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to warn investors about fraudulent solicitations using correspondence claiming to be from SEC staff and Commissioners (including phony letters using the SEC seal and purporting to be signed by Commissioner Daniel Gallagher).
The SEC does not assist with the purchase or sale of securities, or participate in fund transfers. The SEC also does not approve or endorse any particular securities, issuers, products, services, professional credentials, firms, or individuals. Beware of letters that purport to come from SEC staff or Commissioners:
Such letters are not genuine.
Fabricated correspondence purporting to be from SEC staff or Commissioners may be realistic-looking. Email messages may appear to come from SEC email accounts. Letters may imitate the official SEC seal and forge the signature of SEC staff and Commissioners.
If you are unsure whether or not correspondence appearing to be from SEC staff or Commissioners is authentic, submit a question online to the SEC at www.sec.gov/complaint/question.shtml or call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 (or 1-202-551-6551 if calling from outside of the United States). If you receive a letter or email misrepresenting that it is from SEC staff or Commissioners, submit a complaint online to the SEC at www.sec.gov/complaint/tipscomplaint.shtml. You may also report the incident to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at www.ic3.gov.
Before investing, check out the registration status and background of any firm or financial professional you are considering dealing with through FINRA BrokerCheck at www.finra.org/investors/toolscalculators/brokercheck/ and BASIC Search at www.nfa.futures.org/basicnet, the National Futures Association Background Affiliation Status Information Center. If you cannot verify that they are registered, do not trade with them, do not give them any money, and do not share your personal information with them.
Updated Investor Alert: SEC Warns of Government Impersonators (November 2012)
Investor Alert: SEC Warns of Government Impersonators (February 2012)
The Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has provided this information as a service to investors. It is neither a legal interpretation nor a statement of SEC policy. If you have questions concerning the meaning or application of a particular law or rule, please consult with an attorney who specializes in securities law.