Think Before You Click: FINRA Warns Investment Firms About New Scam

New York hedge fund attorneyCyber-security should be a top priority for everyone in the financial services industry, especially in light of a recent flood of email scams targeted at brokers and advisers. These scams capitalize on compliance concerns of well-meaning firms by appearing to contain inquiries from regulators, notably FINRA and the SEC. If an email from FINRA or the SEC appeared in your in box, wouldn’t you be curious?

Unfortunately, these emails may contain a link to malicious software, ask for sensitive information or otherwise pose security risks to firms. Therefore, if you receive what appear to be regulatory inquiries from FINRA or other regulators via email, it is a good idea to use caution before opening any link or attachment or providing any information in response to the email.

The concerns have prompted FINRA to issue a Notice warning the financial industry about the hoax emails. Earlier this year, the regulator also listed cyber-security as one of its top regulatory and examination priorities for 2012.

If your firm has questions regarding the legitimacy of an email that purports to be from FINRA, you are advised to contact your firm’s Regulatory Coordinator. FINRA also cautions firms about responding to any regulatory inquiry that purports to be from the SEC, the IRS or any other financial regulator. Failure to be on alert could pose significant risks to a firm.

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