The SEC warns scammers to impersonate the federal government in messages and calls

The US Securities and Exchange Commission warned investors to guard against fraudsters impersonating government officials in phone calls and messages. This marks the latest effort by fraudsters to invoke government power to deceive ordinary Americans.

The alert cited misleading e-mails, letters, phone calls and voice mails that appeared to come from market regulators. These messages are intended to raise concerns about suspicious activity or unauthorized transactions in people’s checks or cryptocurrency accounts.

“SEC staff will not actively communicate-including phone calls, voice mails, or emails-to request payments related to enforcement actions, provide confirmations of transactions, or seek detailed personal and financial information,” SEC Investors Read alarm Released on Friday. “If someone claims to be from the SEC and asks for your equity, account number, PIN, password, or other information that may be used to access your financial account, please remain suspicious.”

The SEC stated that anyone who receives an unsolicited message or phone call from a person claiming to be in the SEC can call the agency’s personnel locator to determine whether the person is really from the SEC. The SEC’s alert also encourages people to email the account or call the agency to check the communication.

Organizations that focus on preventing market manipulation are not the only ones facing scammers claiming to be from the federal government. Earlier this month, FBI officials stated that they learned that the software was misconfigured and that hackers could send fake e-mails through the “” e-mail account.

“Although the illegal email originated from a server operated by the FBI, the server was dedicated to push notifications [Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal] And is not part of the FBI’s email service,” the bureau said in a statement on November 14. “No actors can access or destroy any data or [personally identifiable information] On the FBI’s network. “

The scammers’ success in impersonating government officials angered Congress. At the House Oversight Committee hearing on criminal hackers held last week, Georgia Republican Representative Jody Hice questioned FBI officials. If hackers can disrupt the information they send, state and local government officials should How to rely on FBI communications.

“I just want to make sure we are protecting state and local officials. How do they know what the information from the FBI is [accurate] If we saw it last week, did it happen again last weekend? Asked Mr. Heath.

Brian Warndland, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Cyber ​​Division, replied that the Bureau particularly understands how “isolated incidents” happened and believes that it can prevent the same thing from happening again.

“The software application and related hardware were immediately taken offline, so we believe that the incident has been contained, and we believe it will not affect any future communications from the email server,” Mr. Vorndran said.

Mr. Hice replied that he believed that Mr. Vorndran did not answer his question.

The problem of false communications that could deceive Americans is not limited to investors or victims of state and local officials interacting with the FBI, but may also affect more people, including those traveling for the upcoming vacation. Cybersecurity company Abnormal said last week that it observed an “:phishing” email in which scammers targeted victims who wanted to update their membership in the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program to speed up security checks.

Anomaly threat intelligence analyst Rachelle Chouinard wrote: “Although the email is not sent from the .gov domain, ordinary consumers may not immediately reject it as a scam, especially because it has an’immigrant visa’ in the domain The word.” The company’s Blog“This email instructs users to renew their membership on a website that appears legitimate.”

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