Project for Help Others Outsmart Investment Fraud


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Overview

In the mail, over the phone, or on the internet; it seems investment fraudsters are everywhere these days. But you can protect a family member, a friend — or even yourself — by planning an investor protection workshop or documentary viewing party using materials from the FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) Investor Education Foundation.

The Problem

Unfortunately, we all probably know someone who could be a victim of investment fraud. Fraudsters are pretty clever and are always finding new ways to trick people out of their savings. In fact, investment fraud affects thousands of Americans and accounts for billions in lost savings every year! According to FINRA Investor Education Foundation research, a majority of victims are financially knowledgeable, highly educated and self-reliant — probably a lot like people you know.

Before investing, 78% of older investors did not check a financial professional’s background and 68% did not check an investment product’s registration.

The Solution

There are simple steps — such as checking to see if a financial professional is licensed or if a product is registered — to help others protect their finances before making any investment decision.

You can teach these steps and more by planning an event for friends and family. Just use the FINRA Foundation’s Outsmarting Investment Fraud curriculum and “Trick$ of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud” documentary. We’ll tell you how to order these materials later on in the guide.

Time Commitment

It can take you just a few hours to host a documentary viewing party or a few days to plan a community-wide investor workshop. Only have five minutes? Be sure to check out the Tip Sheet: Easy Steps to Help a Friend Outsmart Investment Fraud for simple ways to help a friend or neighbor.

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s workshop Outsmarting Investment Fraud, has been shown to reduce the incidence of fraud by approximately 50%.

Special Considerations

Not much! To host your own documentary viewing party, all you need is a DVD player, TV and printer. But if you are planning a community-wide workshop, you will need to secure a location, order materials and identify available audiovisual equipment (i.e., computer, screen and projector). But don’t worry; we’ll help you through all this in the Basic Steps section.

You may need the internet to access online tools to help a friend, but you can always call the numbers listed in the Tip Sheet: Easy Steps to Help a Friend Outsmart Investment Fraud to talk to someone on the phone.

Who can do this?

Anyone can help someone!

Great Reasons to do this Project

No one should be cheated out of their hard-earned money. Simply making a phone call, hosting a documentary viewing party or learning to “ask and check” can help you protect your neighbors – and yourself.