News Release

NASD Foundation Funds Study to Learn Why Elderly are More Frequently Victimized by Financial Fraud Crimes

Washington, D.C.— The NASD Investor Education Foundation has awarded $127,700 to WISE Senior Services, of Santa Monica, CA, to conduct a national research project to explore why the elderly are the more frequently victimized by financial fraud crimes and to develop strategies to help them.

Over an 18-month period, the project, Off the Hook Again: Understanding Why the Elderly Are Victimized by Economic Fraud Crimes, will examine the susceptibility of the elderly to fraudulent solicitations and their level of financial literacy. Researchers will conduct four major surveys and a series of five to eight focus groups. They will use their findings to create new tools and develop practical messages to increase fraud awareness among seniors.

"When older Americans invest they are prime targets of scam artists. And, NASD's own research indicates that older Americans are in need of greater education covering financial and investing basics," said Robert R. Glauber, Chairman & CEO of NASD, who also serves as Chairman of the NASD Investor Education Foundation. "This project will help us find more effective strategies to help seniors recognize and protect themselves from the deceptive pitches and tactics scam artists use."

"Few elderly victims of financial fraud crimes acknowledge having lost money," said Melodye Kleinman, Vice President for WISE Senior Services.  "According to previous research, we know that victims of investment fraud are more prone to sales pressure, believe they have less control over their lives, and show differences in their reliance on hunches and intuition than the general population."

The NASD Investor Education Foundation, established in 2003, supports educational programs and research with the goal of providing investors with high-quality, easily accessible information and tools to better understand investing and the markets.  The Foundation recently awarded more than $1 million in total to 11 organizations, including WISE Senior Services, for new educational programs and research projects targeting the underserved segments of the population.  The NASD Investor Education Foundation formally launched its second full grant cycle on April 5, inviting non-profit groups and researchers to apply for funding. Grant proposals must be submitted by June 3, 2005.  For details about grant programs and other new initiatives of the Foundation, visit

NASD is the leading private-sector provider of financial regulatory services, dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation.  NASD believes that understanding should precede investing - and that education is often the best form of investor protection. NASD's broad range of investor education programs include Investor Alerts, brochures and online resource guides on such critical topics as mutual fund class shares and 401(k) and college savings plans. This information is distributed through its Web site,, printed materials and Investor Forums.