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NASD warns of bogus Web site scam

12 July 2006  |  6077 views  |  0 globe swirly

The US National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) is warning of a new online scam that attempts to trick investors into sending money to schemes that appear to be government-sanctioned but which actually are fraudulent.

NASD says the scam, which mainly targets non-US investors, uses spam e-mails and faxes to direct investors to phoney sites which attempt to get investors to send money in advance of any service rendered.

Investors are directed to bogus sites that end in the suffix "- gov.us" in the Web address to resemble the ".gov.xx" designation that official government sites outside the US typically use, where "xx" is a two-letter country code.

The regulator says these fake sites may also use 'cookies' to track visitors and gather personal information.

NASD senior executive vice president Elisse Walter, says the scams are a "new trick to lend legitimacy to money-making 'advance fee' schemes by fraudsters in the international arena".

"It is important that investors - both in the US and abroad - be wary of these investments scams," says Walter.

NASD says it is aware of at least three sites using the 'gov.us' trick - Board of Commissioners of Mergers and Acquisitions, Central Registry Regulators and National Mergers and Acquisitions Board.

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