Investor Alert: When Engaging With the SEC on Social Media, Use Our Verified Accounts and Be Alert for Impersonators

09/07/2018

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) is alerting investors to the risk that bad actors have sought to impersonate SEC personnel on social media. Please do not just assume you are dealing with the SEC on social media.  Take a few steps to ensure that you’re not dealing with an imposter.

Like many companies and agencies, the SEC maintains a list of verified social media accounts, which is available at https://www.sec.gov/opa/socialmedia.  This includes accounts used by SEC Divisions and Offices (including Regional Offices), as well as individual accounts that may be used by SEC Commissioners.

When engaging with the SEC on social media, please use our verified accounts.  Be aware that fraudsters may attempt to impersonate the SEC or SEC officials using accounts that appear to be official.  Fraudsters may set up fake profiles that include the SEC’s seal, link to the SEC’s actual website, or include the name or photo of an actual SEC official.  These fake profiles may attempt to hype up investment scams, manipulate markets, or otherwise spread misinformation.  

It is the SEC’s policy that officials will never endorse specific investments or discuss non-public SEC investigations on social media. 

If you are unsure whether information posted on social media is affiliated with the SEC, call the SEC’s toll-free investor assistance line at (800) 732-0330 (or 1-202-551-6551 from outside of the U.S.), or email us at Help@SEC.gov.  If you have been contacted by someone pretending 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).  

Investors who learn of investing opportunities from social media should always be on the lookout for fraud. To report possible securities fraud, submit a complaint to the SEC.

Additional Information

Investor Alert: SEC Impersonators Pretend to Help Investors Buy Stock (April 2018)
Investor Alert: Investment Scams Involving Fake Forms 4 (November 2016) 
Investor Alert: Beware of Government Impersonators Targeting Fraud Victims (June 2016) 
Updated Investor Alert: SEC Warns of Government Impersonators (February 2016) 
Updated Investor Alert: Beware of Companies Using the SEC Seal (April 2015)

Report a possible securities fraud.

Visit Investor.gov, the SEC’s website for individual investors.

Check out the background, including registration or license status, of anyone recommending or selling an investment, using the search tool on Investor.gov.

Receive Investor Alerts and Bulletins from OIEA by email or RSS feed. Follow OIEA on Twitter @SEC_Investor_Ed. Like OIEA on Facebook at facebook.com/secinvestoreducation.

Ask OIEA a question.


The Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has 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.

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You can check out the background of an investment professional by using Investor.gov.  It’s a great first step toward protecting your money.  Learn about an investment professional’s background, registration status, and more.  

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