World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is an opportunity to bring attention to the ways that seniors are taken advantage of through investment schemes.

Elder abuse often occurs in a situation where trust is established, that causes harm and distress. In the investment world, this generally occurs through cold calling, affinity fraud, fraud between families and friends, or high-pressure sales tactics. These methods are often carried out through email solicitation, door-to-door sales, at sales seminars, or though telemarketing.

The BC government offers an information kit that features brochures on a variety of topics related to elder abuse.

Included in the kit, is BCSC InvestRight’s BeFraudAware brochure, which highlights they many ways investment fraud occurs. The warning signs to look out for include statements such as “no risk”, “profit like the pros”, “offshore, tax free”, “get in now”, and “your friends and family can’t be wrong.

If you suspect questionable investment activity you can contact the BC Securities Commission. Call us at 604-899-6854 or toll free at 1-800-373-6393, email [email protected], or through the “Report to Us” section on the website.

If you suspect financial abuse there is a variety of resources that you can access for help.

SAIL (Senior Abuse Information Line) is a resource for older adults to receive information about elder abuse, or as a safe contact to discuss possible abuse or mistreatment. BC Residents can contact SAIL at 604-437-1940 or 1-866-437-1940 (toll free).

You can also call VictimLink BC at 1-800-563-0808 to receive information and referral services.

Contact the RCMP or your local city police if you feel the abuse is a criminal matter.

Suggested Reading

Investor Watch: Spam email that promotes hot stocks: a risky proposition

Investor Alert: B.C. securities regulator cautions investors about investment pitches

BCSC educates companies about BC’s money raising rules

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