WASHINGTON—The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) today issued a new investor alert called Cold Calls From Brokerage Firm Imposters—Beware of Old-Fashioned Phishing to warn investors of cold calls from scammers falsely claiming to be representatives of at least one well-known brokerage firm. In this latest twist on phishing scams, fraudsters are cold calling investors claiming to offer information about certificates of deposit with yields well above the best rates in the market in an attempt to get potential victims to divulge their personal or financial account information. Armed with this information, the fraudsters may attempt to steal the person's identity or money from his or her account.
FINRA is reminding investors who receive unsolicited telephone calls never to provide personal information or authorize any transfer of funds to any unknown person.
"If you are not sure that the person on the other end of the line is a legitimate representative of your firm, quickly end the call and get in touch with your firm's customer service center using the contact information on your account statements or the firm's website," said Gerri Walsh, FINRA's Senior Vice President for Investor Education.
Cold Calls from Brokerage Firm Imposters advises investors who feel they are victims of this scam to act quickly and contact their financial institution immediately to report a loss or theft of funds through an electronic funds transfer. Anyone who believes his or her identity has been stolen should follow the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft action plan. FINRA also encourages investors to file a complaint using our online Complaint Center or send a tip to FINRA's Office of the Whistleblower.
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business – from registering and educating all industry participants to examining securities firms, writing rules, enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws, informing and educating the investing public, providing trade reporting and other industry utilities, and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and firms. For more information, please visit www.finra.org.