New financial fraud prevention center opens doors

WASHINGTON — Stanford University's Center on Longevity and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation have joined together to launch the Research Center on the Prevention of Financial Fraud, an interdisciplinary resource for law enforcement, government and research groups studying financial fraud. Financial fraud, ranging from Ponzi schemes to online phishing scams and work from home schemes, swindles Americans out of billions of dollars each year. While emerging technologies continue to fuel the expansion and reach of financial fraud, this joint initiative will support and consolidate scientific research and connect this research to practical prevention and detection efforts.

"Financial fraud is a serious economic and social problem for people of all ages and our rapidly aging population places an increasing number of older adults at risk for fraud. With the Center on Longevity's dedication to preserving financial security throughout our extended life spans, and with the support of the FINRA Foundation's ongoing commitment to protecting individuals from fraud, the new Research Center on the Prevention of Financial Fraud seeks to enhance the financial security of Americans," said Dr. Laura Carstensen, Stanford Professor in Public Policy, Professor of Psychology, and Founding Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity.

"The FINRA Foundation's partnership with Stanford will deliver practical, cutting-edge research to policymakers and law enforcement. This new joint initiative complements an array of FINRA Foundation initiatives to protect Americans from fraud," said Gerri Walsh, Acting President of the FINRA Foundation.

The Research Center's inaugural conference, The State and Future of Financial Fraud, will take place November 3 – 4, 2011, at the Sofitel in Washington, D.C. The conference will bring together policymakers, researchers, practitioners, law enforcement, advocacy groups and other stakeholders to discuss actionable implications of the latest research and evidence-based programs that successfully arm consumers against fraudulent tactics. Senior public officials and leading researchers will deliver keynote addresses and the conference will feature profiles of fraud victims and perpetrators.

The work of the Research Center is led by an advisory council charged with establishing research priorities and facilitating policy-research development. This group includes Stanford faculty across psychology, economics and business, and officials from the FINRA Foundation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Association of Attorneys General, AARP and other public sector organizations.

More information about the Center, along with an extensive archive of research and resources related to financial fraud, can be found online at

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