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Updated January 11th, 2024 at 14:51 IST

US FBI joins investigation of SEC’s fake social media post

The SEC spokesperson indicated that the agency is collaborating with multiple law enforcement bodies, including the FBI.

Business Desk
AP
FBI | Image:AP
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FBI joins SEC probe: US authorities, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), are currently investigating a fraudulent post that appeared on the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) social media account on Tuesday, as confirmed by an SEC representative on Wednesday. This misleading announcement pumped the already booming Bitcoin market.

The post claimed that the SEC had greenlit the trading of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), triggering an apt response from industry leaders. The value of bitcoin has experienced significant fluctuations in recent days amid growing anticipation that the regulatory body would approve such trading instruments.

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The SEC promptly distanced itself from the post and subsequently removed it. X, formerly known as Twitter, attributed the compromise of the account to an unidentified individual who managed to gain control via a phone number breach.

Collaborating with law enforcement bodies

In an official communication on Wednesday, an SEC spokesperson indicated that the agency is collaborating with multiple law enforcement bodies, including the FBI and its own Inspector General, to probe the incident. The breach occurred "shortly after 4 p.m. ET" on Tuesday and resulted in unauthorised activity on the @SECGov account.

The spokesperson clarified, "The content disseminated from the @SECGov account was neither formulated nor endorsed by the SEC."

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In response to the incident, several legislators have taken action. Senator Tim Scott, the leading Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, expressed his intent to gather further details from both the SEC and its Office of Inspector General. Additionally, Republican committee members JD Vance and Thom Tillis have urged the SEC to provide a comprehensive briefing to their respective staff members.

(With Reuters inputs)

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Published January 11th, 2024 at 14:51 IST

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