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FINRA Issues Warning of Brokerage Firm Imposters

An investor alert was issued by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority warning of calls from scammers falsely claiming to represent a well-known brokerage firm. In this scam, the imposters are claiming to be offering certificates of deposit with high yields, but the goal of the cold call is to get the potential victim to reveal personal or financial information. Such information may then be used in an attempt at identity theft or another crime. The fraud attempt is the latest twist on the common scam of “phishing” for information via cold calls.

FINRA warned investor never to reveal personal information to an unsolicited caller and never to authorize a transfer of funds at the direction of an unknown person.

Gerri Walsh, a FINRA senior executive, said that if you are not sure if the person you are talking to is a legitimate representative of a brokerage firm, the best course of action is to quickly end the call and then call the firm’s customer service department.

FINRA said that investors who suspect they have been victims of this type of scam should contact their financial institution immediately to report theft through electronic funds transfer. People who believe their identity may have been stolen should follow the Identity Theft action plan available on the website of the Federal Trade Commission.