Fraudulent “SIPC” E-Mails
SIPC members and others have occasionally been the recipients of e-mails pretending to be from SIPC. These e-mails may inform recipients that SIPC has attempted to contact them several times by e-mail and advise that an urgent response is required. Other e-mails claim that “following regulatory requirements, SIPC has released new information to its members” and ask recipients to respond to queries or requests for information contained in an attachment. The e-mails often contain fake addresses and telephone numbers that are not SIPC’s. The e-mails are not from SIPC and are a hoax. Avoid clicking links, downloading attachments, or replying to the e-mails. For more information, please contact SIPC at 202-371-8300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that SIPC’s website address is www.sipc.org and that only e-mails sent from a sender at “@sipc.org” are legitimate.
Customer Protection Entity
SIPC staff are aware of a number of financial scams in which fraudsters claim to be a customer protection entity in order to trick victims, including non-U.S. investors, into giving the fraudsters access to brokerage accounts and personally identifiable information, and into sending money and other financial assets. Impersonation of legitimate companies is one of several characteristic features of advance fee fraud solicitations and other fraudulent schemes. Even where the fraudsters do not request that funds be sent directly to them, they may use the personal information they obtain to steal the individual’s identity and then misappropriate his or her financial assets.
Some fraudsters have claimed to be customer protection entities and have created realistic looking websites to reinforce their claims of legitimacy.
Misuse of SIPC’s Name
There are also instances where fraudsters, posing as legitimate broker-dealers or as representatives of SIPC, ask for money to facilitate the return of a victim's cash of securities.
Customers will never be asked by SIPC to pay any amount to assist in the recovery process in a liquidation proceeding or to process customer claims.
False Claims of SIPC Membership
SIPC staff are also aware of financial scams in which fraudsters claim to be SIPC member broker-dealers. To find out if your brokerage firm is a SIPC member, check SIPC’s List of Members or Contact Us. There is no SIPC protection available for customers of non-SIPC member broker-dealers.
Beware of scams involving bogus SIPC membership lists. SIPC forced the shut-down of a fake website which included SIPC’s list of members to which the name of a scam brokerage had been added.
If you are aware of or have been contacted by someone falsely claiming to be a SIPC member, please contact us.
If you believe you have been the victim of an online fraud you can report it to the F.B.I.’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.