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Division of Consumer Affairs
Press Release

Attorney General
Anne Milgram
Division of Consumer Affairs, Director
David Szuchman
   
For Immediate Release:
February 20, 2009 
For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, 973-504-6327
 
New Jersey's Bureau of Securities Targets Financial Scams
Against Military Members
National “Military Saves Week” Is Feb. 22 - March 1

NEWARK - The New Jersey Bureau of Securities, in conducting educational outreach at the state's military bases, has identified financial scams targeted at members of the armed services and responded by creating a program that has become a national model for addressing these fraudulent securities activities.

“A Salute to Smart Investing,” developed by Debora C. Whipple, NJBOS' Investor Education Director, is a 28-page guide on safe investing that is intended to protect members of the military from investment fraud. The guide has proven so popular that it is being shipped to military bases throughout the country and has been requested at installations in approximately ten other countries.

“Our Bureau of Securities is a recognized national leader in pro-active investor education and outreach," Attorney General Anne Milgram said. "Because of its outreach to military bases in New Jersey, the BOS identified scams being attempted against military personnel and responded with a program that is now being requested throughout the U.S. military.''

The 30,000 copies of the guide produced to date were funded without cost to N.J. taxpayers through a grant from a non-profit organization devoted to investor education, the Investor Protection Trust in Washington, D. C. Whipple, a 5-year employee of the NJBOS, researched the topics contained within the guide and oversaw the writing and production of the guide by an outside publishing company.

“After discussing financial and investor education, I would often be approached by one or two attendees who had a concern about something they feared was a fraud, something they were either considering doing, or something they had already started to proceed with,” Whipple said. “It was heartbreaking. It became apparent that information coming from a securities regulator brought up important red flags for them about frauds.”

Topics within the guide include “avoiding inappropriate investments,” “red flags,” “scams that target the military,” and “balancing risk and return.”

Most importantly, the guide is unique to the military as it contains military financial contacts and military financial information and programs. The guide lists contact information for military, state, and other reputable agencies and resources that are available to help military personnel and their families in need of financial information or who find themselves the victims of financial frauds.

“The military is vigilant in protecting our nation and the Bureau of Securities is working hard to protect our soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and coast guardsmen from the scam artists who seek to cheat and defraud them,” said Amy Kopleton, Acting Chief of the NJBOS.

As part of “Military Saves Week,” Whipple will be presenting NJBOS' program at a joint event hosted by Fort Dix, McGuire AFB and Naval Air Engineering Station (NAES) Lakehurst at the Fort Dix location on Friday, February 27. Whipple also will be giving briefings at Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst and Earle Naval Weapon Station.

In addition to printed copies, some branches of the military have posted the entire guide on their websites. The guide is in a downloadable format making it available to military members through the internet.

The guide is posted on the Bureau's website, www.njsecurities.gov.

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