Indiana Securities Commissioner Alex Glass is hoping Hoosiers take advantage of Indiana Moneywise financial education program.
“It’s one of the initiatives of the Indiana Secretary of State’s office,” said Glass, a Westfield resident.
It was formerly known as Indiana Investment Watch.
“At its core, it’s a financial education program,” Glass said of Indiana Moneywise. “When Indiana Investment Watch was launched, it was limited to spotting and avoiding investment schemes and frauds. When Secretary of State Connie Lawson came into office (in 2012), the focus was broadened to teaching Hoosiers about financial literacy skills. At that point, it was rebranded as Indiana Moneywise.”
Glass said the enhanced program expands the focus to financial literacy for younger individuals and fraud prevention for older individuals and seniors.
“The program is Secretary Lawson’s vision of how she wants to do this,” Glass said. “My position as securities commissioner is the division director of the securities division. Within our division, we have two investment education coordinators. They are the ones who typically do the presentations. We travel statewide to do the free presentations. No group is too large or too small.”
Glass oversees the two investment education coordinators.
“We discuss different ways to get the secretary’s message out,” Glass said. “People can contact us to come speak to their groups.”
A 30-minute documentary was made in 2016 called “Scammed Investment Fraud Revealed” by a partnership between the Secretary of State’s office and WFYI Public Media.
“We are launching a statewide lunch-and-learn with that program,” Glass said. “Secretary Lawson will talk about our office, talk about scams, show the documentary and answer any questions. These are provided free of charge to those who attend.”
Glass said with the internet there are so many different ways to defraud people.
“There are pop-ups on Facebook, there are tweets,” Glass said. “Every avenue is ripe for potential fraud. We’re always saying check with the securities division on any investment, make sure the individual is registered and the product is registered.”
Glass said the office has offered a Teacher for a Day program, where one of the investment education coordinators teaches class for an entire day.
“They do a fraud prevention presentation,” Glass said. “There will be real-life examples of frauds in Indiana.”
The program started in late 2016, and 13 schools already have had the program, including Carmel and Westfield in the spring. Glass said the teachers have asked if they can come back twice each year, once each semester.
“Most of the time this is going to be in economics classes. Some schools have personal finance classes,” Glass said.
For more information or to view the fraud documentary, visit indianamoneywise.com.