WASHINGTON — The Securities Investor Protection Corporation issued a statement cautioning investors about an identity theft scam designed to extract confidential information and cash from individuals.

The SIPC maintains a special reserve fund authorized by Congress to help investors at failed brokerage firms. Officials at the SPIC said they are investigating phony emails sent by a “senior investment adviser” claiming to act for an actual SIPC member.

The name on the emails has nothing to do with the scam and the actual brokerage firm named is not involved in the scam. The scam involves an insurance investment claim supposedly to be made through the brokerage firm on behalf of SIPC. In order to get information the email sender includes a fake SIPC Beneficiary Information for Automatic Deposit of Payment form that requires information that can be used to directly withdraw funds from an investor’s accounts. The email includes a false detailed form routing number: SPIC 4531/09 (4-00).

Investors receiving any false emails should forward them to SIPC at vdrew@sipc.org.