Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – December 21, 2012 – The Better Business Bureau and FINRA Investor Education Foundation launched a new consumer website, BBB Smart Investing, which is designed to help investors make smarter investing decisions while avoiding fraud, risky investments and unlicensed brokers. The campaign combines the research and expansive knowledge base of FINRA Foundation with the extensive consumer outreach of BBB’s trusted 100-year-old name.
“Our partnership with BBB will help Americans in communities across the country protect their savings from fraudsters,” said FINRA Foundation President Gerri Walsh. “The FINRA Foundation’s ‘Outsmarting Investment Fraud’ curriculum and resources have been field-tested, and give consumers the tools and information they need to thwart fraudsters touting investment scams.”
Consumer financial fraud is a serious problem in North America. According to fraud complaints in the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network, consumers reported losing more than $1.5 billion as a result of fraud in 2011. FINRA Foundation research has found that investors are overconfident in their knowledge of financial management, particularly Baby Boomers who are often the target of investment scams. A telephone survey found that 92% felt “somewhat” or “very confident” about managing their finances, with almost 80% describing themselves as “somewhat” or “very” knowledgeable about investing. Only 44% of respondents received a passing grade on a basic financial literacy knowledge test though. BBB Smart Investing hopes to help change that.
“This is a mutually beneficial partnership that will help educate countless consumers and businesses regarding the prevention of investment scams that target them,” says Warren King, President of the Better Business Bureau of Western PA. “BBB is excited to expand its portfolio of investment scam prevention tools through FINRA’s extensive knowledge base and continue to protect consumers from the growing threat of investment fraud, as more people begin to actively manage their own retirement funds.”
BBBs across the United States, including your Better Business Bureau of Western PA, have begun rolling out programs and offering to host and speak at events in their local areas. A wide variety of educational tools from FINRA Foundation are being used by trained BBB presenters across the country to introduce smart investing skills and to teach consumers how to detect investment schemes, scams and frauds.
Contact Caitlin Vancas, at 877.267.5222, extension 110 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on hosting a FREE Smart Investing seminar, presentation or DVD Speakers Bureau event for your staff, group or organization.
About the BBB System
BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews and BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 114 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than 4 million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information about the BBB System.
About the FINRA Foundation
FINRA, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. 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. For more information, visit www.finrafoundation.org.