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Regulators encourage Canadians to help stop senior financial abuse

By The IJ Staff | June 13 2019 01:30PM

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is encouraging Canadians to be aware of the signs of financial abuse of seniors as part of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, 2019.

Through a variety of online resources and activities across Canada, the CSA, its members and other senior-focused groups are highlighting the issue and the need to recognize, report and stop financial abuse of seniors.

“Awareness is the first step in recognizing and stopping financial abuse of seniors,” said Louis Morisset, CSA Chair and President and CEO of Quebec regulator, the Autorité des marchés financiers. “With a growing senior population, it is more important than ever to help safeguard our aging communities who may become increasingly susceptible to financial exploitation and fraud.”

The CSA said Canadians can help prevent financial abuse of seniors by, among other things, talking about financial matters with aging parents and friends and learning to recognize and avoid investment scams. The CSA website provides information and resources about fraud prevention.

The regulators also urged Canadians to investigate every investment opportunity or sales pitch as well as the person promoting the investment before handing over money. “If unsure about an investment, consider seeking out independent, third-party advice,” said the CSA.

The regulators also urged Canadians to report instances of fraud to their provincial or territorial securities regulator. Reporting potential scams may help prevent other seniors from becoming victims of investment fraud, said the CSA.

“Abuse of the elderly is a serious problem,” said Morisset. “Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to abuse and challenges like isolation, cognitive decline and fear can be major barriers to seeking and getting help. All Canadians have a role to play in raising awareness of financial abuse and preventing it whenever and wherever possible.”

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was launched by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse in 2006. Canadian WEAAD activities, resources and tools can be found on the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

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