This is another trial, to scam Investors.
I was contacted by a Broker from Boston MA, I believe he is not really there.
He wants to buy some shares, and the same old story comes up. Hostile takeover and later I should pay a share de-restriction fee. As I was skeptical he said that the company is regulated by Alternative Investments Authority â€œwww.aiaprotect.orgâ€ . They look first real but they are totally scam. Register under Boston Computing Network since 10. April 2006.
They never answer any phone call, but send you nice Information by email.
I ask the SCE please see the answer below.
Is there any way to shoot down such illegal WebPages?
Investors take care!!!! I lose already a lot of money because of this scam.
Dear Mr. XXXXXX:
Thank you for your e-mail to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in regard to a solicitation you received from an unspecified purported U.S. firm (who are they?) and the so-called Alternative Investments Authority (AIA [http://www.aiaprotect.org/]) to buy your unspecified non-performing shares (what are they?), in return for a so-called â€œStock Shares Restriction Feeâ€ or the like to be paid in advance by you.
Please note that any time you undertake to give money to a "purported investment firm," you should make a determination about its regulatory status. Brokerage firms have to be registered with the securities regulatory authorities to do business in the United States. This is the same requirement for most other countries if the firm wishes to do business in that particular country.
Despite the alleged Chicago, Illinois address for the so-called Alternative Investments Authority (AIA), it is unlikely this entity is located in the USA. Given modern telecommunications technology, telephone call forwarding to offshore listings poses no obstacle to fraudsters. In this connection, please see our online publication, "Fake Seals and Phony Numbers: How Fraudsters Try to Look Legit" [http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/fakeseals.htm].
Indeed, no such entity as the so-called Alternative Investments Authority (AIA) exists, except as the vaporous and virtual imagining of some fraudsters' offshore boiler-room scheme. The phony website created by the so-called AIA (http://www.aiaprotect.org/
) purports to be a regulatory entity or related to a regulatory entity. The fraudsters behind the so-called AIA have stolen without acknowledgement and/or cobbled together phrases and terms from a variety of legitimate sources, in an effort to make it appear that their fraudulent entity name somehow is or belongs to a genuine regulatory organization, where no such connection in fact exists. The theft is part of an effort to make unsuspecting non-U.S. investors believe the so-called AIA is genuine or belongs to a genuine regulatory organization, when it does not.
The unspecified entity soliciting you and the so-called Alternative Investments Authority (AIA)) are but flip sides of the same counterfeit coin.
What the solicitation you received may be leading up to is a classic type of reload scam/fraud, against which we especially warn investors to be on guard (see our online publication, "Worthless Stock: How to Avoid Doubling Your Losses" [http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/worthless.htm]). The types of transactions alluded to by you are not part of normal sales practices in the stockbrokerage business. Rather, they are most likely variations upon an advance fee fraud (see: http://www.sec.gov/answers/foreignalert.htm
). As always, check with securities regulators about any investment offering made to you to see if it is legitimate.
It may very well be that the same or connected fraudsters have exchanged your name and investment information and in fact are attempting to make a new run at you. It is possible that the new entity soliciting you (again, who are they? can you provide more details?) somehow is also connected to, or a successor entity to, your original brokers for your previous purchases (who were they?).
Incidentally, the fee to remove a restrictive legend, if there is any fee at all, is utterly nominal (typically under US $100.00 for ALL your shares). Again, the fee, if there is any, is a nominal processing charge, and it goes to the issuer's transfer agent, NOT the SEC. Investors do NOT pay fees to the USSEC to have a restrictive legend removed from their shares.
As you may know, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has put out a consumer alert advising consumers not to conduct business with certain "overseas share salespeople." This list is available from its website at http://www.fido.asic.gov.au/fido/fido.n ... endocument
. (Similarly, the New Zealand Securities Commission [http://www.sec-com.govt.nz/invest/overseas-brokers1.shtml].) In addition, you may want to read the ASIC's news alert entitled, "Cold calling and phone scams and how to avoid them," which is available online at: http://www.fido.asic.gov.au/fido/fido.n ... enDocument
. Lastly, you may want to review our Foreign Investor Alert, which is available on the SEC's website at: http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/fleecing.htm
Investors in a situation similar to yours should avoid purchasing anything over the telephone from unknown entities. Please bear in mind that once fraudsters have gotten hold of your contact and account/investment information, they will make repeated attacks upon you, in different guise to be sure, but with the hope of relieving you of additional funds should you prove unwary even for an instant. Again, perhaps the best offense is a good defense: 1) investors should AVOID PURCHASING ANYTHING OVER THE TELEPHONE FROM UNKNOWN ENTITIES; 2) as ALWAYS, investors should check with securities regulators about any investment offering made to them to see if it is legitimate.
I hope this information proves helpful to you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. You did the right thing to check. Indeed, please feel free to check directly with me at any time via the contact info. provided.
U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Office of Investor Education and Assistance 100 F Street, NE Washington, DC 20549-0213
(202) 551-6340, (202) 772-9295 (fax)