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O’Grady entered a guilty plea with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia in regard to one count of a criminal information charging him with obstructing the administration of justice. You may sign up for OIEA’s Investor Alerts and Bulletins through email or via their RSS feed. If you use Facebook, you may follow OIEA at

As a consequence of this, it is possible that you may end up being charged a cost for connecting, in addition to substantial per-minute fees for as long as they are able to keep you on the phone. These fees might be categorized as premium services, international calling, or toll-calling when they appear on your account. Calls that only ring once may give the impression that they are coming from phone numbers located in the United States. The first three digits of these calls may resemble area codes found in the United States. However, con artists who are very astute may often utilize international numbers from places that also begin with three-digit codes. For instance, “232” is the international dialing code for Sierra Leone, while “809” is the international dialing code for the Dominican Republic. Scammers may also use tactics known as spoofing in order to further conceal the number that is shown on your caller ID. Affinity fraud is often prosecuted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and recent SEC enforcement proceedings have included scams that targeted customers in the United States.

Presentations that emphasize the “once-in-a-lifetime” nature of the chances being offered. Be wary of anybody who advises you to take advantage of a “once-in-a-lifetime” chance, particularly if the person making the suggestion based their advice on “inside” or “private” knowledge. Charitable organizations, political parties, and people who conduct telephone polls. In certain variations of this con, fake voicemails may urge you click to contact a number with an unusual area code in order to “arrange a delivery” or to provide you with information about a “sick” relative. These messages are designed to steal your personal information. The purpose of an unlawful robocaller’s call is not usually to solicit a response from the recipient. Please fill out the following form to subscribe to BleepingComputer’s newsletter and get frequent updates and news.

These leaders may not understand that the “investment” is essentially a scam, which means that they, too, could end up being taken advantage of. As a public service to investors, the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has made this information available to them. It is neither a declaration of SEC policy nor a legal interpretation of the situation. Please speak with an attorney who focuses on securities law if you have any issues about the interpretation or application of a certain statute or regulation. If you choose “no,” your complaint will be entered into our database; however, we will be unable to provide any more assistance to you at this time.

You have the option of filing a complaint with the firm’s compliance officer as well as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) if a cold caller breaches any of these guidelines. If a cold caller harasses or abuses you in any way during the sales process or tells you lies about an investment, you should get in touch with the Securities and Exchange Commission or the North American Securities Administrators Association in order to locate the state securities regulator in your area. You have the ability to put an end to cold callers, regardless of whether their calls are obnoxious, rude, or just plain dishonest.

Make sure you get a copy of the annual report, the offering circular, the prospectus, and the financial statements. There may be resources that give extra information on the firm that may be found on commercial websites or at your local library. These resources may include lawsuits, liens, or current credit reports. Contrast the information that is written with the information that was given to you over the phone. Be wary if you are informed that there is no documented information on the firm that can be provided to you. If anything like this occurs, you should immediately get in touch with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), or the state regulator of securities in your state. Callers that make aggressive cold calls use convincing scripts that contain rebuttals for any issue a potential customer could raise.

If you do choose to make a purchase from a cold caller, under no circumstances should you provide the broker with the checking or savings account details over the phone. Before they are able to utilize funds from your checking or savings account to finance your investments, brokers are required to get your written consent. This approval may be given in the form of a signature on a check or an authorization form. SEC personnel are aware of continuing schemes in which con artists have utilized the identities of genuine SEC workers and falsified SEC email addresses to deceive victims into paying money to the fraudsters. These scams have been perpetrated using email addresses and names that have been spoofed.

In July, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal Investigative Division issued a warning to investors about con artists posing as authorized financial professionals including brokers and investment advisors. The warning was issued by the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which provides alerts on a regular basis to notify investors about the most recent trends in investment frauds and scams. The complaint that the SEC filed against O’Grady alleges that he was paid for broadcasting the messages in cash that was taken from a blue duffel bag during a trip to a casino in Gulfport, Mississippi, and that he also used his knowledge of the campaign to profit by trading in three of the touted stocks. Both of these allegations are contained in the complaint that the SEC filed against O’Grady.

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