SEC Impostors on the Loose

Crooks come in all shapes and sizes—even, apparently, in the guise of SEC examiners and staff. The SEC issued an alert Thursday to securities industry firms, warning them to keep an eye out for impostors—individuals pretending to work for the SEC. Not the most menacing of disguises, you might think. But on the other hand, regulatory fines and bars can hurt.

Crooks come in all shapes and sizes—even, apparently, in the guise of SEC examiners and staff. The SEC issued an alert Thursday to securities industry firms, warning them to keep an eye out for impostors—individuals pretending to work for the SEC. Not the most menacing of disguises, you might think. But on the other hand, regulatory fines and bars can hurt.

“On more than one occasion, unknown individuals have attempted to impersonate SEC staff,” the SEC wrote in its release. “These individuals have contacted firms by telephone, identified themselves as members of the SEC staff, and demanded immediate access to confidential records. In some cases they claimed to be conducting an ‘emergency’ examination. In others they claimed to be gathering information on behalf of some well-known SEC official. Luckily, in the incidents known to us, the impersonation was discovered in time and no confidential information was shared.”

To read more about these fakers, and what to do if you suspect you’re dealing with one, read the full release here.

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