In May of 2010, a fraud alert was sent out by the Securities and Exchange Commission to warn investors about a group of Internet con artists masquerading as the Securities and Exchange Commission and swindling investors.

In an Investor Alert, the SEC charged that the group, which has called itself the “U.S. Securities and Equities Administration,” the “U.S. Securities Administration” and the “U.S. Securities Bureau,” makes investors an enticing offer: It will remove supposed restrictions on shares of stock the investors own, or release funds being held by the government – all in return for a fee.

The group also appears to have a global division dubbed the “International Equity Regulation Department.”

The SEC-wannabe provided investors with the physical address of 225 Franklin Street in Boston, which is actually home to a Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management office, a Standard & Poor’s office location and an Equinox Fitness Club.

The con artists went so far as to establish a website: gov.ussea.us/ index.html, which includes its own investor alerts and warnings, such as “The Pitfalls of Ponzi Schemes,” “Investing and the Internet – Be Alert to Signs of Fraud” and “Be on the Alert for Boiler Room Tactics.”

“[Scammers] may be located in the financial district near reputable firms, but their address may be nothing more than a rented space tucked away from the public eye,” the site cautioned in its “Boiler Room” alert. “Why would a complete stranger call to offer you a no-risk, high-return investment? It is too good to be true?”

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