National Crime Prevention Month: Watch Out for Grandma!

By Kori Eskridge, Fall 2014 Student Intern

retireesWhile anyone can fall prey to financial fraud, older investors are a prime target. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, people age 65 and over number more than 40 million and account for 13% of the total population. This number is going to continue to rise as the Baby Boomer generation continues to age and look into retirement. It should come as no surprise that there are a number of reasons that older adults are targeted in fraudulent schemes. Continue reading

National Crime Prevention Month: The Newest Tough Guy on the Block

By Kori Eskridge, Fall 2014 Student Intern

togetherThe number of cases of financial fraud is on the rise, with more and more cases being reported and investigated every day. Much of this is due to the housing and financial crisis in the United States over the past few years. In response to growing fears over financial stability and recovery, President Obama established the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force in November 2009. According to, the mission of the task force is to “hold accountable those who helped bring about the last financial crisis as well as those who would attempt to take advantage of the efforts at economic recovery.”

The Task Force is a broad coalition of federal agencies, U.S. Attorney’s Offices and state and local partners. It is led by the Attorney General and is led by a steering committee consisting of leaders from various industries that make up ten specific focus groups: Continue reading

Wednesday’s Word: Unsecured Network

By Patricia Uceda, Fall 2014 Graduate Research Assistant

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

networkThe difference between a secured and unsecured wireless network is simple: encryption. Encryption is key to keeping your sensitive information secure online. It works by scrambling (encrypting) all the information you are sending over the internet into a code that is not readable by others. When a network is unsecured, the information you transmit is not being encrypted. That means that anyone else on the network can look at and read the information you are sending, including personal information, usernames, passwords, etc.


National Crime Prevention Month: The Nuts and Bolts of Financial Fraud

By Kori Eskridge, Fall 2014 Student Intern

nuts and boltsFinancial fraud can come in a variety of different forms. Mortgage scams, pyramid schemes and international solicitation phone calls and emails, to name a few, can all be types of fraud. Financial fraud is extremely prevalent in our society and the number of victims continues to rise. According to the FBI’s Financial Crimes Report to the Public, cases of investment fraud have increased by 52% over the last 8 years. One report stated that Americans alone lose over $50 billion annually to the hands of fraudsters and con artists. Below are a few reasons that financial fraud has become such a big issue: Continue reading

National Crime Prevention Month: Tips to Avoid Financial Fraud

By Kori Eskridge, Fall 2014 Student Intern

octoberOctober marks National Crime Prevention Month, a time for people across the country to recognize, brainstorm and discuss ways to make their communities better and crime-free. Community members can spend a Saturday morning cleaning up graffiti or help out supervising a weekend or after-school program for at-risk children. Community members can also work together to organize a Celebrate Safe Communities event. Preventing crime can be easy and something to strive for all year long, but here are a few tips you can try in the remainder of October to protect your financial security and avoid becoming a victim of financial crime. Continue reading

JP Morgan Security Hack: Protect Yourself

By Patricia Uceda, Fall 2014 Graudate Research Assistant

National Cyber Security Awareness MonthThis summer J.P. Morgan Chase was hacked in one of the biggest known breaches of corporate computer security. J.P. Morgan estimated that the cyber breach affected about 76 million households, more than the 40 million card numbers stolen from Target last year. Continue reading

SEC Approves FINRA Rule Permitting Mid-Case Referrals

By Patricia Uceda, Fall 2014 Graduate Research Assistant

LAW_IACThe SEC approved a rule change to Rule 12104 of the Code of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes and Rule 13104 to the Code of Arbitration Procedure, both entitled “Effect of Arbitration on FINRA Regulatory Activities” broadening the authority of arbitrators to make referrals during an arbitration proceeding. The previous rules only permitted such referrals when a case concludes.

The approved rule change permits an arbitrator to make mid-case referrals if he or she becomes aware of any matter or conduct that the arbitrator has reason to believe poses a serious threat, whether ongoing or imminent, that is likely to harm investors unless immediate action is taken. If an arbitrator makes a mid-case referral, it must be disclosed to the parties and a party is permitted to request recusal of the referring arbitrator within three days of being notified of the referral. The new rule further provides that the arbitrator should wait until the case concludes to make a referral if he or she believes that investor protection would not be materially compromised by the delay.

FINRA filed an early version of the proposed rule change in July of 2010; however it made a few changes and published the current version for comment in the Federal Register on February 12, 2014. The SEC received twelve comment letters, including one from the GSU Investor Advocacy Clinic.  Our Clinic expressed concern Continue reading