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Baby boomers at risk

By Andrew Rickard | January 20 2016 01:32PM

The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) has published a list of the major risks investors face this year, and being a baby boomer is at the very top.

Relying on information collected by its enforcement team and public inquiries office, the ASC has compiled a list of the top investor risks it foresees for 2016. Simply being born between 1945 and 1965 puts people in the danger zone, says the regulator.

"Baby boomers are the largest and wealthiest generation in Canada’s history, making them a lucrative target for scam artists," reads the ASC report. "Given the low-yield environment for lower-risk investments over the past several years, a common concern in this age group is that they have not saved enough; scammers will prey on this fear by promoting 'investments' with high rates of return and low risk, which is a key red flag of fraud."

The ASC also warned investors against doing business with unregistered salespeople and companies, falling for "pump and dump" schemes, buying into binary options scams, and relying on social media when making decisions.

Alison Trollope, the regulator's director of communications and investor education, says that investors who take the time to educate themselves and ask plenty of questions are better able to protect themselves against scam artists. “The ASC has a wide range of free tools and resources to help Albertans become informed investors, which are available on our consumer website Checkfirst.ca,” she notes.

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