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January 30, 2002 5:11 AM   Subscribe

Invest now! The SEC has created a fake website to try and educate the naive. I can't decide if this is a good idea, or if someone has too much time on their hands and is wasting my tax dollars.
posted by FreezBoy (8 comments total)
The biggest problem is that very few people will actually run into it. Unless they're out there spamming and cold-calling and creating fake e-mail "forward" lists to promote the place, they're only going to reach a minuscule fraction of the people they want to reach.

On the other hand, this is probably more effective and memorable than any number of finger-wagging brochures stacked in neat piles in a dusty corner table at the public library.
posted by dhartung at 6:17 AM on January 30, 2002

I don't understand why they would want to create such a stupid website. If people are dumb enough to get scammed, let them get scammed in my opinion. Besides there were some major points on the website that gave it away as a scam. IPO price of $10 is fairly legit, but then in three months the stock being 400 times that... Yeah, ok, the stock will reach prices of $4,000. That is a big clue.

The next big clue is they say you need to e-mail them. Who uses standard e-mail for gathering data? If this were a legit company, or even a good scam, they would have a database back-end with a front-end form script.

Finally the last clue that I saw was the link was to a non-secure website. Of course it went to the "You could get scammed!" page, but again, if it is not secure, it probably isn't legit.
posted by thebwit at 6:51 AM on January 30, 2002

If people are dumb enough to get scammed, let them get scammed in my opinion.

Yes, the government should never try and protect its citizens and the fraudsters should run free preying on the weak and uneducated? Get real. That is exactly what the government should be doing. Government for the people, and all that.
posted by thewittyname at 7:10 AM on January 30, 2002

The government was not established to insulate people from stupid financial decisions. When it does that, you get socialism. That's ok if socialism is your bag, but it's not mine.

However, the government can go after scammers, because fraud is a crime, and in a free market society, it's a really big crime.
posted by insomnyuk at 7:33 AM on January 30, 2002

very very shady. whats next, federal arsonists to teach families that they need to have a well-rehearsed fire escape plan? this almost makes me afraid to wonder what other dirty tricks good ole uncle sam has hidden for me.
posted by mcsweetie at 7:38 AM on January 30, 2002

mcsweetie-I don't know if that's a good comparison. This is more like an electronic version of the Officer Freindly who came to my elementary school and told us all to lock up our bikes and not to take rides from strangers. With the internet, there are new safety hazards, so I see nothing wrong with warning people.
I sell PC's for a living often to inexperienced clients. If my customer is a newbie, I try to make it a point to mention the various pitfalls of the net and netiqutte as well.
FWIW, I usually use MeFi in my web demos as well.
posted by jonmc at 9:18 AM on January 30, 2002

Socialism? I think this falls squarely in the category of: Capitalism thrives with educated, informed participants. The government has a legitimate role educating the populace about perils (as well as opportunities) in the capitalistic system. Socialism? (Not that I think this is a good way to do it. I agree that it won't reach enough people.)
posted by Wood at 9:55 AM on January 30, 2002

SEC: good football conference, overrated in basketball.
posted by norm at 6:39 PM on January 30, 2002

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