September 24, 2009                                                         Contact:Lucas Hamilton

Lindeen Announces Tour, Education Campaign to Prevent Fraud, Scams


      Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Offering Free Meal,
      
       Seminar on Spotting Scams, Avoiding Fraud
      
      HELENA, Montana – Promises of high profits, low risks, and guaranteed returns may sound too good to resist to cash-strapped investors in a recovering economy, but Montanans struggling to avoid getting scammed don’t have to go it alone. Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen is hitting the road next week to help Montanans avoid investment and insurance traps and protect their hard earned money.
      
      “Our fight against fraud never stops,” said Lindeen. “Each year, con artists plot new ways to cheat people out of their hard-earned savings. We know that the best kind of law enforcement is to prevent the crime in the first place. And that’s what the campaign is all about – giving Montanans the tools that they need to protect themselves from fraud.”
      
      Lindeen today announced the kick-off of her consumer and investor education campaign titled “Montana Investor Awareness Campaign: Securities and Insurance Fraud – How to Smell a Rat.” The campaign, which began this week with a series of radio and television public service announcements, will culminate in a 7-city community seminar tour with stops in Lewistown, Circle, Sidney, Plentywood, Glasgow, Malta, and Havre during the week of September 28-October 2.
      
      “Education and information are an investor’s best defense against investment fraud,” said Lindeen, who will be joined by experts from her office to provide information and answer questions.
      
      The public service announcements are being provided to radio and television stations and local cable TV operators in north-central and eastern Montana. The PSAs can be viewed on the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance website at http://www.sao.mt.gov/fraudtour.asp.
      
      The educational campaign will increase Montanans’ awareness of securities and insurance fraud in Montana and give consumers the necessary tools to recognize and fight it. The campaign is part of Commissioner Lindeen’s continuing effort to educate consumers and investors about the dangers of fraud and how to make informed decisions about their money.
      
      “Fraud can happen to anyone,” said Lindeen. “An educated investor should be alert at all times, but especially when money is tight. Falling into an investment trap makes it harder to get back on solid financial ground.”
      
      Due to limited seating at each event, an RSVP is requested. To RSVP or to find out more about times and locations log onto http://www.sao.mt.gov/fraudtour.asp or call the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance at 1-800-332-6148.