North Carolina Investor Education Campaign Launched
More than 400 in Raleigh learn to "Outsmart Investor Fraud"
Raleigh, NC – The North Carolina Secretary of State's Office, AARP North Carolina and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation launched a statewide campaign to protect seniors from the growing threat of investment-related cons and scams on Monday.
NC Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall was on hand to kick off the initiative at a press conference and educational forum for over 400 area residents. Also present was Denver, North Carolina, resident William Brock, who shared his story of financial loss through investment fraud. The event was held at the McKimmon Conference and Training Center at North Carolina State University.
"Although one of our state's newest residents, Bernard Madoff, is now where he can no longer steal people's money, many people do not realize that there are lots of less well-known ‘mini-Madoffs' still out there looking for potential new victims," said Secretary of State Marshall.
The public education campaign will work to educate North Carolina's senior investors on the dangers of investor fraud. This research-based initiative is designed to change behaviors in the interest of protecting older North Carolinians from con artists. Today's educational forum will be followed by forums in Ashville on October 14 and Greensboro on November 3 and in smaller venues across the state.
The investor protection campaign seeks to protect older investors from investment fraud by helping them to recognize their vulnerabilities. The workshops will help seniors identify common persuasion techniques used by fraudsters and protect themselves by asking the right questions and then checking the answers they receive. The workshops focus on:
Research conducted by AARP and the FINRA Foundation unveiled in July 2006 shattered the stereotypes of senior investment fraud victims. Not only was the fraud victim profile counterintuitive in many respects, for example victims were more financially knowledgeable than the general population, but the influence tactics that fraudsters used were sophisticated and highly effective.
In response, a research-based social change campaign was designed to reduce the incidence of investment fraud among investors ages 55 and over. This year, it is being conducted in North Carolina, Washington state, Florida, Colorado and Vermont, and will be expanded into additional states next year. The educational curriculum at the core of this campaign has been tested and shown to reduce seniors' susceptibility to investment fraud by over 50 percent among participants.
The Secretary of State's Securities Division enforces and administers securities laws in North Carolina. The Division investigates complaints and allegations of fraud involving securities brokers and dealers, investment advisers and commodities dealers. For more investor education and protection information, contact the Division at telephone 1-800-688-4507 or visit the Department's website: www.sosnc.com.
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation is the largest foundation in the United States dedicated to investor education. Its mission is to provide investors with high-quality, easily accessible information and tools to better understand the markets and the basic principles of saving and investing.
AARP North Carolina is committed to providing consumer information, legislative advocacy, community service programs and volunteer opportunities. There are 1.2 million AARP members in North Carolina. AARP's goal is "to serve and not to be served" and works to implement the AARP motto: The power to make it better. AARP programs and services in North Carolina include support for family caregivers, mobility and safe driving, tax assistance, consumer protection, support for improvements in long term care and advocating on behalf of older workers.