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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Warns of Government Impersonators

The SEC has learned that individuals may be receiving calls from individuals claiming to be representatives of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or another government agency – real or fictitious.  These callers trick victims into revealing personal and private information, not unlike the “phishing” that occurs via the internet.  Fraudsters use the information that they have obtained to steal the individual’s identity and then his or her financial assets

The SEC staff does not make unsolicited phone calls that ask for detailed personal and financial information, such as your PIN numbers.  We will not, for example, contact individuals by telephone for purposes of:

  • forwarding information or packages to them;
  • advising individuals that they own certain securities;
  • telling investors that they are eligible to receive a disbursements from an investors claims fund or class action settlement; or
  • offering grants or other financial assistance (especially for an upfront fee).

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the SEC (or another government agency), always verify the person’s identity.  You can call the SEC at (800) SEC-0330 for general information about SEC enforcement actions and any investors claims funds.  You also can ask whether the person calling you is employed by the SEC and request to speak with the staff member’s supervisor if there is such an employee.  In the alternative, use the SEC’s personnel locator, (202) 551-6000, to verify whether the caller is an SEC staff member and to speak with him or her directly.  Finally, if you have been contacted by someone misrepresenting himself as an SEC staff member, please let us know by either calling us or emailing us at enforcement@sec.gov.

Related Items:

"Phishing" Fraud: How to Avoid Getting Fried by Phony Phishermen

Fake Seals and Phony Numbers: How Fraudsters Try to Look Legit

FTC Identity Theft Site


We have 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.

Modified: 10/15/2005