Beware of Communications Falsely Appearing to Come from the SEC – Investor Alert
Nov. 19, 2021
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to warn you of communications – including phone calls, voicemails, emails, and letters – that may falsely appear to be from the SEC.
We are aware that several individuals recently received phone calls or voicemail messages that appeared to be from an SEC phone number. The calls and messages raised purported 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. 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. The SEC does not seek money from any person or entity as a penalty or disgorgement for alleged wrongdoing outside of its formal Enforcement process.
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. Be skeptical if you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the SEC and asking about your shareholdings, account numbers, PIN numbers, passwords, or other information that may be used to access your financial accounts. Again, never provide information to someone claiming to be from the SEC until you have verified that the person actually works for the SEC.
If you receive a communication that falsely appears to be from the SEC, submit a complaint at www.sec.gov/oig to the SEC’s Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) or call the OIG’s toll-free hotline at (833) SEC-OIG1 (732-6441).
Visit Investor.gov, the SEC’s website for individual investors.