Mark your calendar for Thursday, November 21 at 3 p.m., Eastern Time—and join us for a webinar to unveil a unique, new resource guide, Taking Action: An Advocate’s Guide to Assisting Victims of Financial Fraud. The FINRA Investor Education Foundation and the National Center for Victims of Crime collaborated to create this important guide that gives victim advocates a roadmap for how to respond in the wake of a financial crime.
The increasing incidence of financial fraud has underscored the importance of consistent and accurate advice to victims. More than 30 million Americans fall victim to financial fraud every year, losing an estimated $50 billion of measurable, direct costs. And these costs do not include the significant non-financial costs to victims, including lost time and psychological hardship, all of which compound the devastation caused by financial fraud.
How can we—a community of victim advocates, law enforcement, regulators and other community-serving organizations—provide tangible help to victims? By taking action and encouraging victims to do the same. Experts in the field are well aware that financial fraud goes largely underreported. One valuable contribution victim advocates can make to the cause of fighting financial fraud is to encourage victims to report the crime.
During next Thursday’s webinar, we will discuss strategies for addressing the major types of financial crime—including investment fraud, identity theft, mortgage and lending fraud, and mass-marketing scams. We will also highlight tools and resources you can use to assist victims of financial fraud in regaining their financial footing and addressing the emotional trauma they have suffered.
Taking Action: An Advocate’s Guide to Assisting Victims of Financial Fraud is available for download or ordering from within the Program and Outreach Toolkit section of the FINRA Foundation’s SaveandInvest.org Fraud Center.
Of course, the best scenario is one in which the fraud is altogether avoided. The FINRA Foundation’s Investor Protection Campaign seeks to safeguard investors from investment fraud, before the fraud occurs, by helping them:
- Recognize they are vulnerable to investment fraud
- Identify persuasion techniques
- Reduce risky behaviors by asking questions and checking information
Investors should ask whether the person selling the investment and the investment itself are registered—and then check by verifying the answers with FINRA and the SEC. FINRA’s online BrokerCheck tool lets investors research the background of brokers and their firms, and the SEC’s EDGAR system is a gold source for company information. Visit the Fraud Center at SaveAndInvest.org for these and even more tools and information to help consumers spot and avoid investment fraud.
Learn how you can become a fraud fighter in your community. Join us for the Taking Action webinar on Thursday, November 21 at 3 p.m., Eastern Time. To register for the webinar click here and follow the prompts.