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Secretary of State

SOS > Media Center >  Press Releases > Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita’s office helps Hoosiers through financial downturn by supporting Money Smart Week; launches next phase of statewide fraud awareness campaign Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita’s office helps Hoosiers through financial downturn by supporting Money Smart Week; launches next phase of statewide fraud awareness campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 8, 2009

Indiana Investment Watch program protects Indiana residents from fraud and promotes financial literacy among Hoosiers of all ages

(Indianapolis) – The turbulent and uncertain economy has many in Indiana reexamining their saving, spending and investing habits. Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita’s Indiana Investment Watch program will collaborate with more than 175 organizations to educate Hoosiers on smart money management tips and tools during the fourth annual Money Smart Week Indiana, October 10 – 17, 2009.

“Now, more than ever, it’s critical that we place an emphasis on financial literacy and empower people with the knowledge and resources they need to be smarter savers, more responsible consumers and better informed investors,” said Secretary Rokita. “There is a strong connection between having a basic understanding of the topics covered during Money Smart Week and being able to avoid falling victim to investment and mortgage fraud.”

Money Smart Week Indiana is a series of free classes and activities designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. More than 200 free financial literacy events will take place across the state. Topics will include steps to homeownership, retirement planning, identity theft, investment fraud, budgeting, credit card smarts and more.

In addition to the education opportunities created by Money Smart Week, Secretary Rokita’s office recently launched a statewide awareness campaign to underscore the most common types of investment fraud in Indiana: fraud aimed at seniors, faith-based affinity fraud and mortgage fraud. This week, public awareness advertisements began appearing in the South Bend, Fort Wayne and Northwest Indiana media markets.

“Most people don’t realize that Americans lose an estimated $40 billion a year to investment fraud,” said Secretary Rokita. “The most effective form of investor protection is investor education. That’s why I created Indiana Investment Watch and why we launched this statewide awareness campaign.”

For more information about Money Smart Week and to find a list of events taking place near you, or to view the awareness campaign and learn more about avoiding investment and mortgage fraud, visit www.IndianaInvestmentWatch.com.

About Indiana Investment Watch
Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita created the program Indiana Investment Watch to increase financial literacy in Hoosiers and to educate them about the various types of securities and mortgage loan broker fraud. The program is not funded by taxpayer dollars, but rather by the money collected from settlements in securities fraud cases.

For more information, please visit www.IndianaInvestmentWatch.com. If you feel you have been the victim of investment fraud, please call the Secretary of State’s Securities Division at 1-800-223-8791.

Media Contact: Jim Gavin, 317.233.8655, jgavin@sos.in.gov