Tuesday, March 9, 2010
The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which maintains a special reserve fund mandated by Congress to protect the customers of insolvent brokerage firms, said today that it is alerting international regulators about a "look-alike" Web site for a fictitious organization that is mimicking the SIPC Web site in an apparent attempt to target Madoff victims.
The so-called "International Securities Investor Protection Corporation (I-SIPC.com)" copies several aspects of the SIPC Web site artwork and structural design. It is soliciting Madoff victims to submit claims, which SIPC is warning could result in "phishing" or other identify theft problems. The phony group claims to be based in Geneva and also maintains that it has ties to the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund, among others.
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. 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.