As if Bernie Madoff’s victims weren’t scammed badly enough, they’ve been solicited to submit claims to a fake SIPC website bent on identity theft.
The real Securities Investor Protection Corp. issued a press release today warning Madoff victims against submitting personal information to the fake “International Securities Investor Protection Corporation,” which claims to be based in Geneva and maintain ties to the United Nations and International Monetary Fund.
"We know from information provided to us by individuals that this bogus group is already attempting to obtain funds and confidential financial information from investors in the U.S,” according to SIPC President Stephen Harbeck.
The fake SIPC site uses the SIPC logo, copies elements of the design of the SIPC website and tells Madoff victims to submit claims as part of a phishing scheme.
“In one section of the Web site, the group includes a supposed testimonial from a Madoff victim who is reported as having received funds from the organization,” according to the real SIPC. “In a link from the homepage of the site that leads to a photo of a huge stack of U.S. currency, the group falsely claims to have collaborated with Interpol to recover $1.3 billion in Madoff money from a hideout in Malaysia.”
The phony site is no longer live on the web but you can see a version of the site cached by Google.
SIPC is the U.S. investor's first line of defense in the event a brokerage firm fails while owing customer cash and securities that are missing from customer accounts. SIPC either acts as trustee or works with an independent court-appointed trustee in a brokerage insolvency case to recover funds.