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Academy of Financial Services Annual Meeting 2022

September 27–28, 2022

Virtual Conference via Zoom

Reporting Investment Fraud

Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at 3:00 PM–3:55 PM EDT add to calendar

investment fraud, fraud, misconduct, investments

Short Description

What do we know about investment fraud reporting?  This paper discerns whether Americans can successfully identify investment fraud and under which conditions.  Based on a study by Kircanski et al. (2018), this paper hypothesized that those with higher financial literacy scores, those who were younger, and those who experienced market gains (as opposed to market losses) would disproportionately identify fraud successfully in their brokerage account statements.  Analysis of primary data collected from online respondents using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk yielded a number of surprising results.  First, the average financial literacy score on a commonly-used, 16-item test was only 70%.  Second, against the backdrop of average financial literacy, only younger respondents successfully identified investment fraud.  Whether the respondent experienced market gains or losses had no impact on their ability to identify fraud, nor did the subjects’ financial literacy scores.  Study limitations, implications, and future research possibilities are discussed.

Lead & Corresponding Author

Dr. Steven James Lee, Ph.D., California State Polytechnic University Pomona