In advance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, the ASC is empowering seniors with tools to help them identify and avoid financial abuse and investment fraud using tips from our Spot and Stop Elder Financial Abuse toolkit and quiz and press release. Our straightforward tips and tools are designed to help both seniors and senior caregivers protect against scams and safeguard their hard-earned money. They also provide a universal reminder that even the most careful investor can become a victim of investment fraud.
Take Renee* for example. She is a financially independent, Alberta senior with a full-time job. Renee is not a high-risk investor and has a good handle on her financial future. One day, Renee is approached by an investment representative who urges her to place her RRSP savings into a fast-moving, high rate of return investment opportunity. Like most people, Renee dreams of retiring early from her 9 to 5 career. She has plans to start her own business that will allow her the freedom to travel and visit family more often. Feeling rushed and acting on impulse, Renee invests without researching the firm or the investment. Months later, Renee learns that the investment was fraudulent and that her account was wiped. She lost $100,000 of her retirement savings. Read Renee’s full story here.
Renee is a real person, whose dreams of more freedom, and family time, were dashed - and she is not alone. According to the Government of Alberta, financial abuse/exploitation is one of the most frequently reported forms of elder abuse in the province. Fraudsters prey on the perceived vulnerability of seniors and try to separate them from their money and assets they’ve spent a lifetime accumulating. Seniors everywhere can learn from Renee’s experience – the first step in avoiding investment fraud is recognizing it.
Take our quiz to find out how much you know about safe investing practices and protecting your nest egg.
*Based on true victim testimonials from Alberta. To protect the victim’s privacy, all names and identifying information have been changed.
Government of Alberta
North American Securities Administrators Association’s senior’s initiative
ASC tools and resources
Canadian Securities Administrators
Financial Consumer Agency of Canada