Nearly 40 per cent of Albertans age 55+ believe they have been approached with a potentially fraudulent investment.
CALGARY, June 6, 2019 /CNW/ - The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) has launched a month-long senior outreach campaign across Alberta to recognize Seniors Month (June) and World Elder Abuse Day (June 15, 2019). Nearly 40 per cent of Albertans age 55+ believe they have been approached with a potentially fraudulent investment, as identified in an Investor Index Study commissioned by the ASC. The ASC's campaign is focused on empowering seniors to improve their financial literacy, recognize the signs of investment fraud, empower them to make wise investment decisions and encourage all Albertans to be aware of the signs and symptoms of elder financial abuse.
In 2018, the ASC conducted an online quiz targeted towards senior Albertans, the results of which highlighted that over 50 per cent of Albertans 55 years of age and older didn't realize that if they had been a victim of a financial scam, they could be targeted again. This is an example of a "Recovery Room Scam" wherein the original fraudster often sells the victim's information to another scam, who then offers to recover their investment at a price. This may include paying taxes or a service fee, which is simply a fraudulent demand for more money and the victim loses again. It was also found that 61 per cent of respondents would consider an investment opportunity that 'guarantees' a legacy for their family, despite the fact that the promise of a 'guaranteed' return is an indication of a potential fraudulent investment.
"Building relationships with seniors' groups is a critical part of our work to help Albertans advance their financial literacy and protect themselves from investment fraud," said Alison Trollope, Director, Communications and Investor Education. "This year, we are continuing to expand our reach, aiming to ensure all Albertans are empowered and have the knowledge to protect their retirement nest egg."
The ASC's 2019 activities aim to connect directly with seniors and their caregivers through a variety of community events, a financial literacy quiz and seniors resources on Checkfirst.ca/seniors, including the Spot and Stop Seniors Investment Fraud fact sheet. Albertans can test their financial and investment knowledge and check if they are on the right track to protecting their financial future through the ASC's fun and interactive quiz called 'How Safe is Your Nest Egg'. The ASC is also a sponsor of the THIRD ACTion Film Festival in Calgary (June 7 – 9), which is focused on celebrating aging and the accomplishments of older adults to promote elder empowerment and an age-positive culture shift.
Albertans 55 years of age and older and members of seniors groups are encouraged to visit the ASC's CheckFirst.ca/Seniors website for unbiased investor education information, tools and resources on recognizing and avoiding fraud and how to 'CHECK-PROTECT-INVEST' before investing. Albertans without internet access can call (877) 355-4488 to request printed copies of seniors' materials.
The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the province's securities laws. It is entrusted with fostering a fair and efficient capital market in Alberta and with protecting investors. As a member of the Canadian Securities Administrators, the ASC works to improve, coordinate and harmonize the regulation of Canada's capital markets.
SOURCE Alberta Securities Commission
For further information: For Media Inquiries: Susan J. Soprovich, Senior Advisor, Investor Education, 403.592.3058; For Investor Inquiries: ASC Public Inquiries, Toll-Free 1.877.355.4488