Office of Financial Institutions
OFI Highlights Fraud Prevention During America Saves Week

Press Release Date:  Friday, February 22, 2008  
Contact Information:  Kelly May
Public Information Officer
502-573-3390 Ext 252
 


   FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 22, 2008) – The Kentucky Office of Financial Institutions (OFI) has joined in the observance of America Saves Week – Feb. 24 to March 2, 2008 – to encourage Kentucky residents not only to save, but protect their assets through fraud prevention.

   America Saves Week partners aim to motivate consumers to commit to save, invest and build wealth. The national theme of this year’s campaign is “Build Wealth, Not Debt.” But beyond that, OFI would like to add to that theme “Protect Your Investments” by avoiding fraud.

   “This week we encourage investors in Kentucky to follow a maxim of Benjamin Franklin: ‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest,’” said OFI Securities Division Director James Strode. “During America Saves Week – and any time – investors of all ages can and should learn how to guard their savings from fraud by becoming an informed investor.”

   OFI recommends these fraud prevention tips for savers:

  • Investigate before you invest. Get documentation and read the fine print.
  • Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Take your time. Don’t give in to high-pressure sales tactics.
  • Never pay cash or wire money for an investment.
  • Check out the licensing and background of anyone dealing with investments by contacting OFI.
  • If you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact OFI at 800-223-2579 or www.kfi.ky.gov.

   “The best time to call us is before you part with your hard-earned money,” said OFI Executive Director Cordell Lawrence. “Whether you’ve saved $500 or $500,000, you could be a target of con artists. Staying informed is your greatest defense to keep your savings secure.”

   OFI is pleased to join with partners such as the Consumer Federation of America, North American Securities Administrators Association, Federal Reserve Bank, United Way of America, Department of Defense and others to promote savings during this week.

   America Saves is a six-year-old effort to encourage non-saving Americans to save through a social marketing approach. While those with modest incomes cannot save as much as the affluent, almost everyone has the ability to build wealth over time. The goal of the campaign is to persuade all Americans that they can build wealth and to assist them to do just that. About 1,000 organizations participate and have encouraged and assisted hundreds of thousands of savers, especially the more than 90,000 who have enrolled as American Savers.

   OFI calls on Kentucky residents to participate in America Saves Week and to discover how they can save, invest and safeguard their assets. For more information on ways to save money, or to enroll as an American Saver, visit www.americasaves.org/national/saves_week.asp.

   OFI is an agency of the Department of Public Protection in the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet.  It supervises the financial services industry by examining, chartering, licensing and registering various financial institutions, securities firms and professionals operating in Kentucky. OFI’s mission is to serve the public through effective and efficient regulation that promotes consumer confidence and economic growth.

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