Foundation-funded research unveiled in July 2006 shattered the stereotypes of senior investment fraud victims. Not only was the fraud victim profile counterintuitive in many respects (for instance, victims were often financially knowledgeable men), but the influence tactics used by fraudsters were sophisticated and highly effective. These findings forced regulators and senior advocates alike to rethink how best to approach the challenge of equipping older investors with the tools and information they need to thwart fraudsters touting investment scams.
In response, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation mounted a research-based, social change campaign designed to reduce the incidence of investment fraud among investors ages 55 and over. In 2008, the Foundation launched a pilot campaign to test social norm messages and intervention strategies that positively influence the behavior of older investors to decrease the likelihood that they will become victims of investment fraud. The pilot campaign was developed by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, in collaboration with AARP, Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, Florida Office of Financial Regulation and noted experts in the fields of fraud and persuasion. The campaign has since expanded partnerships with state securities regulators, crime prevention organizations and grassroots organizations and through distribution of public service announcements. Learn more about our partners.
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that give investors the tools they need to better understand the markets and the basic principles of saving and investing. To date, the Foundation has approved approximately $64 million in grants and direct financial education and protection initiatives. For details about grant programs and other FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit www.finrafoundation.org.