"Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."
-Edmund Burke, 18th Century Political Philosopher
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In light of recent developments in the Bernie Madoff scandal, a study has been released showing that more than one-quarter of stock market investors are still unfamiliar with Madoff's case.
The study, released Thursday by Confirmation.com, showed that of 985 college-educated investors polled, 27% were not able to identify Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC as the perpetrator of a stock market fraud.
Confirmation.com, a cloud-based audit confirmation service used by all the top 10 banks in the U.S., stated that when broken down into age groups, only those over the age of 60 showed significant awareness of the Madoff scandal, with around 80% of respondents saying they knew of his crimes.
"The Madoff fraud should be on the mind of every investor. Clearly, there needs to be a greater sense of awareness, so that frauds of this scale can be prevented in the future," Brian Fox, president of Confirmation.com, said in a public statement.
"The irony is that investors want and deserve more protection of their investments. That's a commendable goal, but without basic education, these investors will still be at risk, even with stronger protections in place," Fox added.
Considering younger investors, between the ages of 18-44, are the future of our country's financial markets, it is disturbing that they performed the worst on the survey.
The 18-29 age group showed the least knowledge of the Madoff fraud case in the survey, while the 30-44 age group was second to last.
The U.S. Department of Justice unit in charge of the Madoff victim fund said on Tuesday the fund has received more than 51,700 requests from investors in 119 different countries claiming losses of more than.
The $40 billion total is much larger than the initial $18 billion in losses claimed during a bankruptcy court case recovering money for cheated Madoff investors.
Madoff caught the world by surprise with the sheer size of his Ponzi scheme, and the one takeaway should be caution.
Investors shouldn't believe the unbelievable when it comes to financial market performance or get-rich-quick schemes.
Studying and understanding what has happened in the past can make investors aware of similar attempts at deception in the future.
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This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.