SEC attempts to educate taxpayers with investor tips

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that investors receiving their refund checks from the Internal Revenue Service will simultaneously be receiving information about a new SEC phone-based resource that can help them learn more about various investing topics and avoid investment scams.

More than 3 million Americans received an SEC investor information card as an insert with IRS refund checks that were mailed on May 3. The SEC's largest-ever direct mail outreach effort is intended to reach millions of Americans, particularly senior citizens, who do not have Internet access to online investor education information.

"By sending investor information in the same envelopes as IRS refund checks, the SEC is saving taxpayer money and using the combined services of the federal government to further its mission of educating all American investors," said Kristin Kaepplein, director of the SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy. "The sheer scope of our effort, the largest of its kind, demonstrates our commitment to helping all investors make informed decisions, including those without Internet access."

The SEC information card encourages recipients to "Call Now and Become a Smarter Investor" by dialing 1-866-358-6652 and choosing an investment topic best suited for them to hear helpful automated information. Topics range from "Getting Started With Investing" and "Protecting Your Nest Egg" to "How to File an Investment Complaint" and "Sales Seminars — No 'Free Lunch'."

Recipients are additionally given the option of visiting the Internet for more SEC information on investing topics.

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