Did you know that 30 per cent of Albertans believe they have been approached with a possible fraudulent investment? And did you know that only a quarter of Albertans have ever checked into the background of someone offering them an investment opportunity?
March is Fraud Prevention Month and the unfortunate reality is that fraud can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender. Brookline teamed up with the fraud-prevention superheroes at the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) to create a multifaceted campaign to help educate Albertans about the very real risk of investment fraud and how to protect against it. The campaign included an interactive microsite and online quiz and the development of creative collateral (i.e. ‘Caution: Don’t Get Burned’ coffee mugs and ‘Measure Twice, Cut Once, Check First’ measuring tapes). Additionally, the campaign included a seamlessly executed media relations program, media buys in the Calgary and Edmonton markets and event management for pop-up café activations at multiple tradeshows and a local Calgary coffee shop.
We kicked off Fraud Prevention Month with a pop-up coffee shop, the CheckFirst Café, which made appearances at Café Rosso’s Stephen Avenue location in Calgary, as well as the Home and Gardens Show in both Calgary and Edmonton. The Café was incorporated as part of the ASC’s ongoing CheckFirst.ca campaign to help Albertans avoid investment fraud and protect themselves, their money and their financial dreams.
Customers at the Café Rosso activation were served ‘Lost Dream Lattes,’ ‘Fraud-accinos’ and other complimentary investment-themed early morning pick-me-ups. At the Home and Garden Shows, attendees enjoyed ASC’s signature ‘Red Flag Roast’ and ‘Uncertain-tea’ and had the opportunity to participate in an interactive quiz. ASC representatives were onsite at both events to provide information about how to ‘CheckFirst’ before investing and generate excitement about the campaign.
A province-wide advertising campaign also ran throughout the month of March in an ongoing effort to educate Albertans about the ‘Red Flags’ of investment fraud and remind them about how important it is to research investment opportunities.
What’s the takeaway you ask? All it takes to protect yourself from getting scammed is a quick online check that can be done in the time it takes to finish a cup of coffee.
-Caitlan Greene is an intern at Brookline Public Relations and is in her fourth year of public relations at Mount Royal University. Her previous agency experience enabled her to develop communication skills working with clients in a variety of industries.