reports that the FBI Criminal Investigative Division and the Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Education have issued a joint warning advising investors regarding threat actors impersonating investment advisers, registered brokers and other registered investment professionals.
Fraudsters have been luring targets through spoofed
websites, cold calling, fake social media accounts and falsified documents, according to the warning.
"Fraudsters may falsely claim to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) or a state securities regulator in order to lure investors into scams, or even impersonate real investment professionals who actually are registered with these organizations. Fraudsters may misappropriate the name, address, registration number, logo, photo, or website likeness of a currently or previously registered firm or investment professional," the warning said.
Investors receiving investment opportunities should check if senders are licensed or registered through the Investor.gov search tool, or by examining tell-tale signs of a scam, including unsolicited offers, payment method red flags and guaranteed high investment returns.
"If you are suspicious about information you receive from an individual or firm soliciting your business, contact FINRA or another regulator BEFORE you send any personal or financial information," said FINRA.