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A Madoff-Related Scam

By Dian Vujovich

Just when you think it’s safe to get back into the water out comes another scam. This one, however, is not from Bernie Madoff nor does it dangle any bait promising to make you big money. Instead, its angle is to get your money back from that jailed bird. Sounds good if you’re a fish and still gullible.

Funny thing about people and money, even after they have been stung most don’t see any red flags or seem to get it that when things sound too good to be true, they usually are.

This latest scam comes to us from a Web site (red flag #1) that claims to have recovered $1.3 billion in funds (red flag #2) that Bernie hid in Malaysia (red flag #3).

Now listen up: Don’t believe anything you read or may have heard about the site even though its logo looks very similar to the one of our Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and bills itself as the International Security Investor Protection Corporation (ISPIC).

The site claims to be sponsored by the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Big time sponsors. Too bad that’s not true.

The deal pitched is if you’re a Madoff victim all you’ve got to do is submit personal information and you’ll be put on a refund list (red flag #4).

“Investors who lose money in widely publicized schemes are often targeted by con artists looking to cash in on the victim’s desire to recover losses,” said Lori Schock, Director of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy. “Victims of fraudulent schemes should be aware that such refund schemes commonly exist, and can be perpetrated through copycat Web sites that appear similar to those of actual regulators or other organizations.”

BTW and in case you’ve forgotten, SIPC does NOT protect anyone from losses from investments not registered with the SEC. That includes Bernie-type investments.

Learn more at: http://www.sec.gov/investor/alerts/sipcscamalert.htm .

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