The Securities and Exchange Commission has uncovered a new form of fraud and the watchdog agency is sounding an alarm to alert unwary money managers.
A notice posted on the SECs website at www.sec.gov warns that unknown individuals are impersonating SEC inspectors in an effort to access the proprietary records of securities industry firms. The bogus SEC inspectors identify themselves as agency representatives over the phone, demanding access to confidential records, according to an SEC announcement.
Luckily, in the incidents known to us, the impersonation was discovered in time and no confidential information was shared, the announcement said.
To protect themselves, money managers should ask for the names and phone numbers of alleged SEC examiners, then try to reach them through the official agency phone numbers listed on the SECs website.
Most importantly, if the caller makes you suspicious, do not share any confidential information until you have verified the callers identity, the SEC alert said. 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 the SECs Inspector General at (202) 551-6060.