Avoid Fraud & Scams
Many individuals contact the Office of the Ombuds about fraudulent schemes. Some of the schemes are imposter scams that involve people fraudulently pretending to be FINRA staff in order to obtain account or other sensitive information. Others are advance fee schemes: investors are told they must pay a fee in advance to redeem their funds, but they never receive the promised funds. Unfortunately, many investors are subject to investment fraud, identity theft, and other scams. Please keep in mind that FINRA is a government-authorized not-for-profit organization that oversees the U.S. brokerage industry and would never ask investors for money.
Here are some resources that address investor fraud and scams.
Fraud Alert February 2023
There is an ongoing phishing campaign that involves fraudulent emails claiming to be from FINRA, using domain names “@finra.eu” and “@finrarec.com”. Those domains are not connected to FINRA. Learn more: Cybersecurity Alert.
Fraud Alert November 2022
If you receive an unsolicited email request from FINRA for account information, you can validate the request by contacting FINRA at [email protected]. FINRA will never ask investors for payment. If you receive communication from a “Sthepanie Roberts” in FINRA’s Office of the Ombuds, this is a fraudulent email. For additional information, please visit Don’t Fall for “Regulator” Imposter Ploys.
- Don’t Fall for “Regulator” Imposter Ploys
- Don’t Fall for Cryptocurrency-Related Stock Scams
- Pig Butchering” Scams: What They Are and How to Avoid Them
- Boiler Rooms—An Old Stock Scam Gets a Technology Makeover
Keep up to date with investor information about scams provided by FINRA, SEC, NASAA, FTC, and other regulators.
- FINRA Investor Alerts
- SEC Investor Alerts and Bulletins
- NASAA Investor Advisories
- FTC Consumer Advice on Scams
Before providing sensitive information or money, use BrokerCheck® to check if the person or firm is registered to sell securities or offer investment advice.
Protect Your Money provides additional resources for avoiding fraud and scams.