IMPORTANT REMINDER TO CLIENTS CONCERNING ON-LINE ACCOUNTS
This bulletin is being sent to remind our clients of recent increased fraudulent activity in on-line brokerage accounts worldwide. There has recently been an increase in the reported cases of fraudulent trading activity in online brokerage accounts with corresponding warnings from the SEC, the FINRA and other law enforcement and self-regulatory organizations. Typically, the schemes involve "hijacking" a valid customer account.
Two most common methods of identity theft involve "phishing" and "malware". "Phishing" refers to email campaigns that prompt a customer to visit a Web-site (typically designed to look like a familiar and official web page) and enter their own personal information under some supposedly legitimate pretext. "Malware" or "spyware" involves any malicious program that is loaded on a customer's computer in order to allow for an intruder to assume control of the machine, or to log the customer's activity so that all typed username and password combinations can be recorded and used illegitimately.
Below is an example of a phishing email:
As you can see from the above example, phishing emails look very realistic. Therefore, it is important to stay well informed and take strong precautions to protect your account information and computers. Should you ever receive an email from MB Trading that directs you to a link to your MB Trading account, please type our URL by hand: www.mbtrading.com. WE WILL NEVER SEND YOU A LINK BACK TO OUR WEBSITE THAT REQUIRES YOU TO ENTER YOUR USER NAME OR PASSWORD.
Here are some tips on avoiding these fraud schemes:
- Never click or respond to an embedded link in an e-mail asking for personal or banking information
- Never access a brokerage account from Internet access points in public places such as hotels and airports.
- Diligently use precautions such as robust firewalls and anti-spyware software.
- After logging out of your on-line account, you should empty your cache memory to protect the confidentiality of your personal information.
- If you believe you may have been a victim of fraud, please contact law enforcement agencies immediately.
- Check your account statements thoroughly.
For additional information about phishing scams or identity theft, please visit:
- Securities and Exchange Commission Investor Information: http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/phishing.htm
- The Anti-Phishing Working Group's website at:
- Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Site:
- National Consumers League's Internet Fraud Watch: