Investment scam artists are targeting Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) participants, warns the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Last month, four former Atlanta-area brokers were charged with fraudulently persuading Federal employees to roll over holdings from their TSP retirement accounts into higher-fee, variable annuity products. The brokers were accused of specifically targeting Federal employees nearing retirement with sizable funds invested in the TSP.
Federal government agencies, including the SEC, do not endorse or sponsor any particular securities, issuers, products, services, professional credentials, firms, or individuals. To protect yourself against those claiming an affiliation with the Federal government, follow these tips:
- Do not trust any contact information or a website provided by someone contacting you with an investment idea when that person claims to be affiliated with the government, the TSP, or government retirement plans.
- Confirm that a seller is not affiliated with a government agency by contacting the agency directly or calling the SEC’s toll-free investor assistance line at (800) 732-0330.
- Be cautious about providing personal information to anyone you do not personally know.
Keep in mind that the TSP will never contact you by email, telephone, or mail asking you to provide sensitive personal information such as your account number, Social Security number, password, or PIN. Also, fraudsters may try to deceive investors by using the words “federal” or “government” in the name of their company, copying or imitating government emblems or seals, creating fake correspondence that looks like it is from a government agency, or sending email messages that link to a government website.