The Federal Trade Commission has issued alerts about fraudulent activities carried out through various messaging platforms with scammers exploiting users’ trust. While there hasn’t been a surge in scammers involving our firm, both Harris Associates L.P. and the Oakmark Funds take these alerts very seriously and have internal procedures in place to protect you. However, it’s important for you to be aware and vigilant of the different scamming methods and strategies.
Scammers often pose as legitimate entities or persons to deceive unsuspecting victims into sharing their personal information or making payments for goods and services that do not exist. They may use sophisticated tactics, such as impersonating a known employee of Harris Associates L.P. or creating fake websites or social media profiles to deceive you.
While Harris Associates L.P. and the Oakmark Funds may post using LinkedIn or Twitter, neither a Harris Associates L.P. employee nor the Oakmark Funds will ever use a social media platform to ask you to invest in products and services that are not listed on our websites. Furthermore, Harris Associates L.P. and the Oakmark Funds will NEVER communicate with you via WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber, Facebook Messager or any other messaging platforms. Harris Associates L.P. and the Oakmark Funds will only communicate with you by phone, mail or email using the contact information on record for your account and from an official Harris Associates L.P. or Oakmark address (@harrisassoc.com, @oakmark.com).
We urge you to exercise caution when receiving messages on WhatsApp or any other messaging platforms and be vigilant about suspicious requests. Here are some tips to help you stay safe:
1) Do not share your personal or financial information with anyone, especially if you do not know them.
2) Be cautious when receiving unsolicited messages from unknown contacts or numbers.
3) Do not click on links or download files from unverified sources.
4) Verify the authenticity of requests by contacting the sender directly through a verified contact or official website.
5) Be wary of offers that seem too good to be true and deals that require you to pay upfront.
6) Do not communicate or conduct business via messaging platforms. Attackers use non-email communication media to conduct fraud and neither Harris Associates L.P. nor the Oakmark Funds permit its employees or authorized representatives to send or receive work-related communications on such platforms.
If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, we highly encourage you to self-report to the FBI at https://www.ic3.gov (after clicking the link or typing the url in your browser, select “File a Complaint” from the menu bar at the top of the webpage). You may also reach out to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA and/or your local police.
For additional resources, please refer to the following FBI website that provides assistance for victims of financial crimes: https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/financial_crime.pdf/view.