Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White led a multi-agency event today to support Military Consumer Protection Day 2015, highlighting how service members can best protect themselves and their finances from fraud and identity theft.
Chair White was joined at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst event by officials from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Department of Justice’s Service Members and Veterans Initiative, the U.S. Attorneys' Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of the Fair Housing Program, the FBI’s Securities Fraud Program and the U.S. Secret Service.
“Taking control of your finances starts with access to information about financial products and services and the people who sell them,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White. “We want to ensure the men and women of our armed forces who protect us are themselves protected in the financial marketplace.”
White took questions from the base commander, Col. Frederick Thaden, as well as other senior base leadership, before an audience of several hundred at JBMDL’s Timmerman Center in New Jersey, consisting of service members and their families.
“We find that most people, service members included, want more information on how to better manage their finances and check out financial professionals, so they can make the best decisions for their families and for their future.” said Lori Schock, Director of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy.
Questions ranged from what service members should consider before investing to how to avoid becoming victims of investment fraud. Both Chair White and Ms. Schock cautioned service members about offers that sound too good to be true, high-pressure sales tactics, and fraudulent opportunities that appear on social media. Chair White also discussed cases the SEC has brought to halt frauds that targeted service members and advised the audience on how to best protect themselves from such scams.
Service members and their families are frequent targets for financial fraud and identity theft. Military Consumer Protection Day aims to provide men and women in uniform with the knowledge and skills to better understand their finances so they can invest wisely and avoid fraud.