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.  
CategoryEnforcement

Investment Scams May Seek to Exploit Natural Disasters – Investor Alert

Sep 29, 2020
After a natural disaster strikes, fraudsters may try to take advantage of individuals who want to help fund recovery efforts or who receive lump sum insurance payouts. Fraudsters may use recent natural disasters, including Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Sally, and the wildfires on the West Coast, to lure victims into investment scams. These scams can take many forms.   
CategoryEnforcement

FBI and OIEA Warn Public that Fraudsters are Targeting Owners of Timeshares in Mexico

Sep 17, 2020
The FBI Criminal Investigative Division and the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) would like to warn consumers of a recent increase in fraudulent schemes targeting owners of timeshare properties in Mexico. These scams typically involve individuals alleging to be representatives of a brokerage firm, travel agency, title company, or escrow agent making unsolicited contact with owners of timeshare properties. 
CategoryEnforcement

COVID-19 Related Early Withdrawals from Retirement Accounts—Be Careful of Fraudsters and other Bad Actors Targeting Your Retirement Savings

Jun 3, 2020
The CARES Act of 2020 provides significant relief for businesses and individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes allowing retirement investors affected by the coronavirus to gain access to up to $100,000 of their retirement savings without being subject to early withdrawal penalties and with an expanded window for paying the income tax they owe on the amounts they withdraw. Unfortunately, unscrupulous promoters have used these CARES Act benefits to encourage investors to take money from their 401(k)s or traditional IRAs, not for current emergency financial needs, but to buy…
CategoryEnforcement

Frauds Targeting Main Street Investors -- Investor Alert

Apr 10, 2020
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and the Division of Enforcement’s Retail Strategy Task Force are issuing this Alert to educate Main Street investors about current investment frauds, including scams related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
CategoryEnforcement

Look Out for Coronavirus-Related Investment Scams - Investor Alert

Feb 4, 2020
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to warn investors about investment frauds involving claims that a company’s products or services will be used to help stop the coronavirus outbreak.
CategoryEnforcement

Avoiding Investment Fraud in Your Faith-Based Community – Investor Alert

Nov 1, 2019
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the Retail Strategy Task Force are issuing this alert to help investors protect themselves and their communities from fraud targeting members of a shared faith.
CategoryEnforcement

Beware of Spoofed Websites Offering Phony Certificates of Deposit – Investor Alert

Oct 23, 2019
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) is issuing this Investor Alert to warn investors about phony Certificates of Deposit (CDs) promoted through internet advertising and “spoofed” websites – websites that mimic the actual sites of legitimate financial institutions. Investors should be extremely cautious when purchasing CDs from sites found only through internet searches.
CategoryEnforcement

Don’t Fall for an Investment Scam – Investor Alert

Oct 9, 2019
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and Retail Strategy Task Force (RSTF) want Main Street investors to be aware of tactics fraudsters use to lure investors into scams. This Alert presents actual videos that defendants in SEC enforcement actions allegedly used as part of their investment frauds.
CategoryEnforcement

Watch Out for Scammers Posing as SEC Employees – Investor Alert

Sep 19, 2019
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to warn investors that fraudsters sometimes pose as SEC employees. Do not send money, or personal information, to anyone claiming to be from the SEC without verifying their identity using the steps described in this Alert.
CategoryEnforcement

Don’t be Fooled by Fraudsters Offering “Charitable” Investments -- Investor Alert

Sep 17, 2019
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) warns investors not to fall for investment scams claiming to help charitable causes. Supporting a good cause while investing your money may sound like a win-win situation. But be aware that fraudsters may try to exploit your desire to help others by using charitable causes as a way to draw victims into investment scams.
CategoryEnforcement

Investor Alert: Have Something in Common with Someone Selling an Investment? It May Make You a Target for Fraud.

Jul 15, 2019
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and the Division of Enforcement’s Retail Strategy Task Force warn investors not to make investment decisions based solely on common ties with someone recommending or selling the investment.
CategoryEnforcement

Investor Alert: Beware of Claims That the SEC Has Approved Offerings

Apr 30, 2019
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to warn investors of misrepresentations about SEC “approvals” of offerings.
CategoryEnforcement

Investor Alert: Watch Out for Fraudulent Digital Asset and “Crypto” Trading Websites

Apr 24, 2019
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Office of Customer Education and Outreach (CFTC) warn investors to scrutinize investment opportunities through websites purporting to operate advisory and trading businesses related to digital assets. These websites often contain “red flags” of fraud including claims of high guaranteed returns and promises that the investments carry little or even no risk.
CategoryEnforcement

Investor Alert: Scammers May Try to Take Advantage of the California Wildfires

Nov 29, 2018
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to warn investors, including individuals who may receive lump sum payouts from insurance companies and others as a result of damage from the California wildfires, about fraudulent investment scams.
CategoryEnforcement

Investor Alert: Be Vigilant for Investment Scams Related to Recent Hurricanes

Oct 29, 2018
The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to warn investors, including individuals who may receive lump sum payouts from insurance companies and others as a result of damage from recent hurricanes, about fraudulent investment scams.
CategoryEnforcement

Investor Alert: Watch Out For False Claims About SEC And CFTC Endorsements Used To Promote Digital Asset Investments

Oct 11, 2018
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Office of Customer Education and Outreach warn investors to watch out for false claims about agency actions and endorsements related to digital assets.  Fraudsters may use false claims to lure investors into purchasing digital assets and to artificially raise their value. “Digital assets” include crypto-currencies, coins, and tokens such as those offered in so called initial coin offerings (ICOs).
CategoryEnforcement

Investor Alert: Don’t Invite Investment Scams to Find You

Sep 27, 2018
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and Retail Strategy Task Force (RSTF) warn investors that providing your phone number and email address in response to an online investment promotion may make you a target for fraud.
CategoryEnforcement

Investor Alert: Marijuana Investments and Fraud

Sep 5, 2018
Scam artists often exploit “hot” industries to trick investors, including by making false promises of high returns with low risks. The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and Retail Strategy Task Force are warning investors about these kinds of investment schemes involving marijuana-related companies.
CategoryEnforcement

Investor Alert: Check the Background of Anyone Selling You an Investment

Aug 14, 2018
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) urges investors to check the background of anyone selling or offering them an investment.  No matter how good an investment may sound, verify that the person is currently registered or licensed and check his or her background by using the free and simple search tool on Investor.gov.
CategoryEnforcement

Investor Alert: Self-Directed IRAs and the Risk of Fraud

Aug 8, 2018
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to warn investors of risks associated with self-directed Individual Retirement Accounts (self-directed IRAs).  Self-directed IRAs allow investment in a broader—and potentially riskier—portfolio of assets than other types of IRAs.  While a broader set of investment options may have appeal, investors should be mindful that investments in self-directed IRAs raise risks including fraudulent schemes, high fees, and volatile performance.
CategoryEnforcement

Investor Bulletin: How Victims of Securities Law Violations May Recover Money

Jun 21, 2018
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) is informing investors about how they may be able to recover money if they have been harmed by a violation of the federal securities laws.
CategoryEnforcement

Investor Alert: Is Your Broker Selling You Investments Approved for Sale Through the Firm?

May 30, 2018
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and Retail Strategy Task Force are warning investors about red flags that a broker may be running a side business offering investments that are not approved for sale through the broker’s firm.
CategoryEnforcement

Investor Alert: Ponzi Schemes Targeting Seniors

Apr 9, 2018
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and Retail Strategy Task Force are warning investors about Ponzi schemes that prey on senior investors.
CategoryEnforcement

Investor Alert: SEC Impersonators Pretend to Help Investors Buy Stock

Apr 4, 2018
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) is warning investors about investment schemes where fraudsters misrepresent that they work for the SEC and pretend to help investors purchase stock or confirm trades – but really just steal investors’ money. If you receive an email or phone call claiming to be from the SEC to “confirm” your purchase of a security or to help you trade a stock, it is likely a scam. Do not send them money or give them your account information.
CategoryEnforcement