As if those defrauded of their life savings by Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme haven't suffered enough, a new web site had until yesterday been trying to scam even more money off those unfortunates.
As of Wednesday morning the site, i-sipc.com, had been taken down, with the words "THIS SITE IS TEMPORALLY CLOSED" all you can now see on the page. Boy, doesn't that look legitimate!
The Securities Investor Protection Corp., an organization created by Congress to help the customers of failed brokerages such as Madoff's, says "I-SIPC" purported to stand for the International Security Investor Protection Corporation. It pretended it was the legitimate agency, but instead was nothing but a front trying to obtain sensitive information such as social security numbers from Madoff's victims.
SIPC President Stephen Harbeck said in a statement: "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. SIPC wants to be as clear as possible that Madoff victims and other investors should not share any personal financial information via this Web site or rely upon it as an information source. We intend to use every available means to shut down this illicit operation."
The phony group also annoyed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, who issued this statement: "Never underestimate the creativity and duplicity of con artists. They will do anything to separate you from your money and securities."
As if Madoff's victims, who lost a whopping $65 billion, don't have enough problems right now.
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