All the anxiety over investment losses has helped a few creative bad guys come up with a very clever identity theft scheme.
It's an unsolicited e-mail that contains an "insurance investment claim" from the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). The SIPC is a real agency the government set up to protect investors.
But the e-mail is a fake.
It includes the names of real brokerages and SIPC members to make it look real. It explains that you're entitled to asset recovery damages from the hits you've taken in your 401k or other investment account.
Then, the dead giveaway: it requests your personal information: Social Security number, credit accounts, the works.
Be advised, a government agency -- much less the SIPC -- will NEVER contact you by e-mail about asset recovery and NEVER request your personal information via the Internet.
Stephen Harbeck, president of the SIPC, asks that if you receive one of these e-mails, send a copy immediately to the SIPC at firstname.lastname@example.org.