Protect seniors by being aware of the red flags of financial abuse

By The IJ Staff | June 15 2018 01:30PM

Photo: Freepik

Securities regulators across the country are urging Canadians to be aware of and report financial abuse of seniors as part of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day June 15. 

In a statement, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) says it recognizes and supports the international effort against abuse of older adults in all of its forms.

A growing senior population

"With a growing senior population in Canada, we need to work together as a community and be even more vigilant about protecting ourselves and the older adults in our lives," said Louis Morisset, CSA Chair and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF). "That's why the CSA provides resources to help adults in our communities to make informed investment decisions and know how to recognize and avoid investment fraud."

The CSA says Canadians can take action and prevent financial abuse of seniors by: talking about financial matters with their aging parents and learning to recognize and avoid investment scams (visit the CSA website to access fraud prevention resources). The regulators also recommend taking time to investigate every investment opportunity or sales pitch, as well as the person promoting the investment before handing over money and, if unsure about an investment, seek independent, third-party advice.

Report investment fraud

The CSA also urges Canadians to report investment fraud to their provincial or territorial securities regulator. This may help prevent other seniors from becoming victims of investment fraud.

"As we age, we may become more dependent on others, which can make us more vulnerable to financial abuse," said Morisset. "However, if older Canadians lose all or part of their life savings, they have less time to recover financially. The effects of financial abuse frequently go well beyond the pocketbook too. Being a victim of financial abuse can lead to social isolation, depression, anxiety, and other negative health effects."