WASHINGTON (August 17, 2004) — North Dakota Securities Commissioner Karen Tyler, on behalf of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), today outlined the important role states play in providing financial education to help combat investment fraud against seniors.

“Informed investors make tough targets for financial predators. Financial education is the first defense against investment fraud and exploitation,” said Tyler, who also serves as chair of NASAA’s Investor Education Section. NASAA is the international association of state and provincial securities regulators. Tyler’s remarks came during a presentation at the National White Collar Crime Center’s 2004 Economic Crime Summit in Austin, Texas.

Tyler noted that seniors are increasingly targeted for investment fraud through various channels, including the Internet. However, she said, personal pitches continue to ensnare the most victims. For example, Tyler said, more than 80 percent of seniors who are approached in person with a fraudulent investment fall victim to the scam, compared with about 20 percent of those approached in other ways. “I want to emphasize that this is an area of great concern for state securities regulators,” she said.

To help fight investment fraud against seniors, Tyler said that under the guidance of NASAA’s Investor Education Section’s Senior Outreach Project Group, state securities regulators last fall initiated a major education campaign aimed at senior investors. As part of the initiative, NASAA launched an online Senior Investor Resource Center to give senior investors the tools they need to reduce their risk of being a victim of fraud.

She also outlined an anti-fraud program NASAA is developing based on a highly successful initiative launched by California securities regulators two years ago. The anti-fraud program development guide will be delivered to the full NASAA membership later this year for use in their jurisdictions.

For More Information:
Bob Webster, Director of Communications