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Regulator launches board game to educate players about investment fraud

By The IJ Staff | March 14 2019 11:30AM

The Alberta Securities Commission recently launched Kajillionaire, a new board game that brings attention to the kinds of scams commonly afflicting Albertans.

March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada. The introduction of the game is part of the regulator’s efforts to educate investors about fraud. In the game, players put their life savings on the line, risking it all as they roll their way through a series of can't-miss, low-risk investment opportunities to become a wildly rich "Kajillionaire." The game is being promoted on the ASC's investor education website, CheckFirst.ca.

"While our financial literacy efforts are year-round, we always heighten our focus in March to drive home the risks surrounding investment fraud and easy ways to protect yourself in a unique and memorable way,” says Alison Trollope, Director, Communications and Investor Education with the ASC. “Kajillionaire, the board game at the centre of this year's campaign, uses the resurgent interest in board games to educate Albertans on how to recognize potentially fraudulent investments and make wise investment decisions."

Taps into psychological factors behind decision-making

The incredible opportunities and can't-miss investments presented in the game tap into the psychological factors behind decision-making and show players why scams are so enticing and people fall victim to them, says the ASC. To ensure the psychology of decision-making was accurately reflected in the game, the regulator consulted with Dr. Derek Chapman, Professor of Psychology from the University of Calgary.

Each player begins Kajillionaire with $184,000 in 'life savings' – the average amount Canadians say they have saved for retirement. On their quest to win the game, players will experience potential scams, such as affinity fraud, Ponzi schemes, pump-and-dump scams, fake celebrity endorsement scams and more, learning to recognize the red flags of fraud.

Highlights potential real-life devastation

“Whoever finishes the game with the most money left technically wins the game, but no one really wins in the world of fraud because, in the end, a significant amount of each player’s life savings will be lost. The game has been developed to highlight the potential real-life devastation that fraud can have on its victims,” says the ASC.

"Kajillionaire helps educate players on how important it is to 'check first' before investing," says Trollope. "Checking registration, researching the investment and looking for the red flags of fraud are the best ways to determine if an investment opportunity is real before handing over your hard-earned money."

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