Got a call from 370666149, which is not a real phone number. The person shouting at me at the other end of the phone was “Jerry” or “Gerry” an alleged stockbroker from EJ Sterling, Inc. He talked very fast and very loud.
Here’s a brief summary of my conversation with him. I asked him for his last name. He asked me how much money I had in the market. I asked him again for his last name. He asked me who managed my 401K monies. I asked him again for his last name. He asked me if I have ever opened an account over the phone. I thought there was a problem with the phone. He didn’t seem to be hearing my question. Was he embarrassed by his last name?
I told him that he knew my name, why won’t he give me his? I asked him if he was registered. He said yes. Of course, I have no way of knowing this is true since I don’t know his last name. He never gave me his last name. Do people really open accounts with these yahoos?
When I get his last name, I will look him up on Brokercheck..
In the meantime, here’s a lesson. FINRA Rule 3230(d)(4) states, in pertinent part, “A member or person associated with a member making an outbound telephone call must provide the called party with the name of the individual caller, the name of the member, an address or telephone number at which the member may be contacted…” He wouldn’t give me his last name, so that’s strike one.
FINRA Rule 3230(g) requires that his caller ID information be accurate. It wasn’t. That’s strike two.
There appears to only be one person who would use the nickname Gerry at EJ Sterling in New York. But since I don’t know if it was him, I won’t name him. The guy I found has worked at a variety of low-end firms before landing at EJ Sterling. Like cockroaches, these guys just keep on surviving.
The EJ Sterling website says that they have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. What they have done is gamed the system. They have four recent complaints. Three of them are complaints by members of the public who want them to stop calling. The fourth is by someone who apparently fell for their pitch then wised up, refusing to open an account. This person complained that the EJ Sterling representative kept calling trying to get the paperwork for the account.
So they get their A+ by being jerks to the general public then saying I’m sorry. Interesting business model…
If there isn’t a FINRA rule about giving out one’s full and legal name, there should be.
I’m just speechless and I’m Marc Dobin.