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SIPC Alerts Investors of a Phishing Scam

The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which maintains the Congress authorized exclusive reserve fund to aid investors affected from failed brokerage companies, warned investors on July 21, 2008 of a new phishing scam extorting confidential information as well as cash from indiscreet individuals.

The Officials at SIPC said that they are investigating fraudulent e-mails sent by an alleged "senior investment advisor" and claiming that he is acting on behalf of a SIPC member. But, in reality, the person whose name is mentioned in the message simply has no connection with the campaign and the brokerage company too has no links with the dishonest solicitation. The message also alleges that this brokerage company, which is acting for SIPC, intends to give back the targeted investor his funds as reported by earthtimes on July 21, 2008.

Furthermore, the scam involves a claim for investment in an insurance apparently madel through the same brokerage company. And, to obtain the information for making the claim, fraudulent e-mail sender incorporates a false SIPC "Beneficiary Information for Automatic Deposit of Payment" form that seeks information with which funds can be directly withdrawn from the account of an investor.

Meanwhile, according to Stephen Harbeck, President of SIPC, the scheme is clearly a scam and does not associate with any real brokerage company and its liquidation. The e-mail does not provide any address for correspondence and has no reference about failed brokerage company. Therefore, nobody should give away any personal information requested for in the current case without being absolutely sure of the sender's validity, as reported by prnewswire on July 21, 2008.

Moreover, any investor who gets any such dubious e-mail fraudulently sent in SIPC's name is advised to forward it to SIPC.

According to practice, victims of identity theft associated with brokerage companies are often directed to check out the membership details on SIPC's Website to find out if the company is actually a SIPC member. But in the current case, the illegal promoters have clearly stolen the ID of a true SIPC member.

Related article: Spike in Attacks Causes Early Release of Windows Patch

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