Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz
INDIANAPOLIS (March 13, 2006) — Today, Secretary of State Todd Rokita launches a Web site and the first of three advertising flights as part of a $1.8 million multimedia awareness campaign to advise Hoosiers on safe investing and avoiding fraud.
Rokita’s investor education program, Indiana Investment Watch, aims to increase all Hoosiers’ investment knowledge through three separate marketing campaigns, statewide workshops and IndianaInvestmentWatch.com.
“The main goal is to equip Hoosier investors with information they need to avoid losing their hard-earned savings and becoming victims of con artists,” said Rokita. “We also want investors to have important background information to assist them in making wise decisions with their hard-earned money.”
IndianaInvestmentWatch.com operates within the Secretary of State’s Securities Division and provides investors with information on a variety of investment scams including affinity fraud, Ponzi schemes, unregistered securities and viatical investments, among others.
The Web site also offers Hoosiers information about how to confirm the credibility of their investment advisors and potential investments. Interested investors can test their investment savvy by taking an investment quiz. Educators and others are invited to download brochures on a variety of investment topics.
The first campaign theme, dubbed “Investor Basic Training,” features Army drill sergeants commanding Indiana investors to be smart about investing and not to fall for scams.
TV and radio ads will air in all major media markets throughout the state. The ads are available for viewing at IndianaInvestmentWatch.com. Ads will also appear in area newspapers.
Rokita chose investment basics as the focus of initial advertising efforts after commissioning a statewide survey on Indiana residents’ investment practices. More than 1,000 adult Hoosiers took part in the statewide survey, paid for by money received from national legal settlements.
The survey showed that nearly two-thirds of Indiana adults who own investments have Investment Knowledge Scores of “not knowledgeable” or “somewhat knowledgeable.” Results also showed that 80 percent of Indiana adults have some level of investment experience and are current investors.
“It’s good news that Hoosiers are investing, but we want them to have the information they need to make smart investments to better secure their future,” said Rokita.
Hoosiers can call the Secretary of State’s office at 1.800.223.8791 or visit www.IndianaInvestmentWatch.com to find out whether securities are registered and whether their investment advisor or broker-dealer firm has a history of complaints, suspensions, or criminal and civil actions against them.
IndianaInvestmentWatch.com provides a link for victims to file complaints with the Secretary of State’s office. From 2003–2005, the Enforcement and Prosecution Assistance Unit investigated 623 cases of investment-related fraud.