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Challenging Gen-Z investors to outsmart investment fraudsters.

The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the province’s securities laws, as well as investor education. At the end of 2020, amid a global pandemic and weakened Alberta economy, they tasked Rain with dreaming up a new installment of their annual Fraud Prevention month campaign, focused on a previously overlooked demographic: younger people, aged 18-30.

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“How do you communicate the dangers of investment fraud in a language that young people understand?”

Young people were beginning to take interest in the world of investing, and many of them sourced investment advice from non-traditional places, like social media. During our research phase, we learned that fraud incidence is growing among 18-24 year olds - with 23% stating they have been approached about a possibly fraudulent scam, and a 400% increase in fraud reporting from this group within the last two years.

So, we targeted young investors where they already live - social platforms like Instagram and TikTok. But experience told us it wasn’t enough to simply show up on social with an anti-fraud message. Younger audiences don’t respond well to fear and finger-wagging, so our tone and approach needed to be more empowering.

All this insight led us to develop the Take Some Time campaign, with creative aimed at letting young investors know it’s okay to pump the brakes and do some research when approached with an investment opportunity. The basic red flags of fraud tell us that fraudsters use feigned urgency and exclusivity to pressure people into falling for a scam - so we created the Excuse Bot, an interactive online chat bot that would arm users with the excuse they needed to get the space they need to research the opportunity at hand. We also tasked Albertan social influencers to help us spread the word, including TikTokers like @megiipierson and @notorious.cree. The campaign yielded unprecedented results - as Hilary McMeekin, ASC Director, Communications & Investor Education stated: “This is the best pick-up I have ever seen in my four years at the commission.”