The British Columbia Securities Commission today launched the second year of its three-year Be Fraud Aware campaign to educate British Columbians about the dangers of investment fraud. The campaign uses two compelling province-wide television commercials: “Stolen Dreams” and “Two Faced”; three YouTube videos; and a mobile application to alert people to the warning signs of investment fraud.
“We want British Columbians to fraud-proof themselves by recognizing and avoiding investment fraud. We also want people to report investment fraud when they encounter or suspect it,” said BCSC Chair, Brenda Leong.
The two commercials feature David Johnson, a suave, obviously successful fraudster, who uses his persuasive powers to con people out of their money. “Stolen Dreams” shows how victims are often introduced to the fraudster through relationships of trust within their own communities. “Two-Faced” uses a split screen to demonstrate both the sales pitch and the underlying motives of a fraudster.
“We want people to see just how charismatic and charming these people can be when they are pitching an investment. We modelled him on descriptions of high profile convicted fraudsters like Ian Thow, Bernie Madoff and Earl Jones,” said Leong.
Three YouTube videos provide more insight into how con artists and investment schemes actually work: “Ponzi 101” and “Know Your Victim”; and “Fraudster Exposed 2”, a compelling story of how reporting can make a difference.
Coming soon to the Apple App Store is a Be Fraud Aware app that will provide people with important information and tools to help protect them from investment fraud. The campaign is produced in English, Punjabi, Mandarin and Cantonese. October is Investor Education month.