According to the FBI, investigations of securities and commodities fraud—also known as investment fraud—have increased by 52 percent since 2008. But because investment fraud is largely underreported, we don’t know the true number of Americans who’ve been victims of financial fraud.
In response to this trend, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation has partnered with the National Crime Prevention Council—home of McGruff the Crime Dog—to give law enforcement and members of their communities tools to prevent and report financial fraud. We’ve also partnered with the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) and developed an investment fraud training module, “Targeting Investment Fraud,” for law enforcement officers, detectives, public information officers and community liaison officers. Similar to our partnership with the BBB, these partnerships will help citizens across the country protect their savings from fraudsters through local trainings and outreach.
If you’d like to learn how to protect yourself from financial fraud, check out BBB Smart Investing. There you can see if you’re at risk for fraud, find tools to help you make informed decisions about saving and investing, and see if there’s a BBB Smart Investing event coming to your community.
If you’re a victim of an investment scam, report it to your local law enforcement and file a complaint with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
You can find more resources to protect yourself at SaveAndInvest.org.