|May 7, 2013|
George Smaragdis, FINRA Foundation
Sara Khalatbari, NCPC
WASHINGTON — According to the FBI's latest Financial Crimes Report to the Public, investigations of securities and commodities fraud, also known as investment fraud, have increased by 52 percent since 2008. Additionally, investment fraud is largely underreported, and perpetrators often target retired citizens and seniors. Considering that 77 million baby boomers will be retiring over the next 20 years, as reported by AARP, incidences of investment fraud are likely to increase further.
In response to this significant trend, the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation are partnering to help reduce the incidence of investment fraud among consumers by expanding the reach of the FINRA Foundation's Investor Protection Campaign. Together, the two organizations will establish Investment Fraud Prevention Programs at the state level through NCPC's network of state crime prevention associations. The partnership will allow law enforcement officers to become more familiar with "Outsmarting Investment Fraud" tools, so that they are better equipped to address investment fraud in their communities. Citizens, in turn, will gain increased skills to prevent and report investment fraud.
NCPC and the FINRA Foundation will be providing investment fraud educational materials free of charge to a vast network of law enforcement personnel and crime prevention practitioners across the nation. Co-branded documents, such as Fighting Fraud 101 and the 2013-2014 Crime Prevention Month Kit, will help consumers identify common persuasion tactics, protection strategies and where to turn for help. They also will help law enforcement and their community partners launch prevention campaigns or hold investment fraud events, such as safety fairs for seniors. Additionally, NCPC will conduct a webinar series providing key protection and prevention strategies to combat this underreported crime.
Working with partners, including AARP and the Consumer Fraud Research Group, the FINRA Foundation has conducted extensive research exploring why people fall prey to investment fraud and who is most often targeted. The research has helped establish the risk factors that differentiate victims from other investors and identify the most common persuasion tactics used to perpetrate investment fraud. With the information gathered from its research, the Foundation has employed national, state, and grassroots partnerships to develop and distribute fraud prevention resources and conduct outreach to potential investors.
For resources and tools from the FINRA Foundation, visit www.SaveAndInvest.org/FraudCenter. Research pertaining to investment fraud and other financial crimes is available at the Financial Fraud Research Center, www.fraudresearchcenter.org, a collaboration between the FINRA Foundation and the Stanford University Center on Longevity.
About FINRA Investor Education Foundation
The mission of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation is to provide underserved Americans with the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for financial success throughout life. The Foundation provides high-quality, easily accessible information and tools to help investors better understand the markets and the basic principles of saving and investing. SaveAndInvest.org, a FINRA Foundation website, offers easy-to-use tools and information to help investors make sound financial decisions and protect themselves from investment fraud.
About the National Crime Prevention Council
The National Crime Prevention Council is the nonprofit leader in crime prevention. For more than 30 years, our symbol of safety, McGruff the Crime Dog®, has delivered easy-to-use crime prevention tips that protect what matters most—you, your family, and your community. Since 1982, NCPC has continuously provided the American public with comprehensive educational materials, training programs, and effective crime prevention messaging, delivered in large part through its vast network of more than 4,600 state and local law enforcement agencies, crime prevention associations, community groups, foundations, and corporate partners. For more information on how NCPC can be a public safety expert for you or how to "Take A Bite Out of Crime®," visit www.ncpc.org.