SEC Staff Reminds Securities Industry Firms to Be Alert to Imposters
Washington, D.C., May 10, 2007
On more than one occasion, unknown individuals have attempted to impersonate SEC staff. 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.
If you have reason to suspect that a caller claiming to be an examiner or other member of the staff is not a member of the SEC’s staff, consider taking the following steps. You can ask for the caller’s name, office, and telephone number, and tell the caller that you will return his or her call. The telephone numbers of all SEC offices are available on the SEC’s web site at: http://www.sec.gov/contact/addresses.htm. Using the telephone number on the SEC’s website, call the main number of the particular office that the caller identified, and ask to speak to the SEC staff person.
Most importantly, if the caller makes you suspicious, do not share any confidential information until you have verified the caller’s identity. If the caller resists providing you with proof of identity, or your effort to contact the caller through a published SEC telephone number is unsuccessful, do not give the caller any information, and please report the incident to the Examination Hotline at (202) 551-EXAM, or to the SEC’s Inspector General at (202) 551-6060.