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Jun 03, 2020
One-third of Albertans 55+ believe they have been approached with a potential fraud through someone they know
CALGARY - June 3, 2020 – The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) has launched a month-long senior outreach campaign across Alberta in recognition of Seniors Month (June) and World Elder Abuse Day (June 15, 2020) to highlight the importance of financial knowledge for seniors.
According to a recently conducted study of investors in Alberta, specifically those 55 years of age and older, one third think they’ve been approached with a potentially fraudulent investment scam through someone they know, such as a friend, neighbor, co-worker, family member or someone from a club, group or organization they belong to. Phone calls from strangers (22 per cent) or email spam (23 per cent) are other ways that Albertans 55+ believe they have been approached with a fraudulent investment.
“These findings are concerning considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Albertans, especially our seniors who are isolated or cut off from support groups,” said Hilary McMeekin, Director, Communications and Investor Education, Alberta Securities Commission. “Scam artists exploit the fear, uncertainty and vulnerability that comes from volatility in the markets, the potential for lost retirement savings and social isolation. We are focused on providing seniors, their families and friends with the tools to protect themselves and build their knowledge around investments.”
Further study data on financial abuse and fraud, as it pertains to Albertans aged 55+, showed that:
The purpose of this campaign is to help improve seniors’ financial knowledge, empower them to make wise investment decisions and be aware of the signs and symptoms of financial abuse and fraud, including COVID-19-related scams. The campaign encourages caregivers, friends and family members to connect with the seniors in their lives to ensure they are safe – physically, mentally and financially. Friends and family members need to talk to seniors about their finances, watch for the signs of elder abuse and take advantage of the resources on the revised CheckFirst.ca/seniors website to strengthen their investor knowledge.
CheckFirst.ca/seniors includes the steps to approaching any investment, how to recognize the signs of investment fraud, various educational resources and an online “How Safe is Your Nest Egg?” quiz. Albertans 55 years of age and older are encouraged to take the quiz before Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 12:00 a.m. to be entered to win a $50 Visa gift card. Albertans without internet access can call 1-877-355-4488 to request printed copies of seniors’ materials.
If you suspect you, or a senior in your life, may be involved in a potentially fraudulent investment scheme, contact the ASC at 1-877-355-4488 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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For further information, please contact:
For Media Inquiries:
For Investor Inquiries:
James MacTavish Senior Advisor, Investor Education 403-483-2374
ASC Public Inquiries Toll Free: 1-877-355-4488