June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, an official United Nations International Day acknowledging the significance of elder abuse.
In this blog post, the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) wants you to know more about the steps you can take to prevent and avoid elder financial abuse.
Take Action to Prevent Financial Abuse
- Stay informed, and talk about financial matters with your friends and relatives
- Understand how fraudsters target seniors and community organizations
- Learn to recognize, reject and report investment scams
- Investigate an investment opportunity or sales pitch as well as the person promoting it before handing over your money
- Consider seeking independent, third party advice if you are unsure of an investment offer
- Get help if someone pressures you to invest or asks to access your investment or bank accounts
How to Avoid Elder Financial Abuse
Access to accurate investment information is an important first step to avoiding financial abuse. These resources can help you recognize potentially fraudulent, investments targeting older British Columbians:
- Learn to identify and avoid investment schemes with BCSC InvestRight’s Seniors and Adults Over 50: Check Before You Invest guide
- BCSC InvestRight’s Common Scams page details common investment schemes
- The CSA’s Fraud Guide provides information on common types of fraud targeting seniors
- The BC government’s website provides resources on elder abuse, including financial abuse
Who to Contact if You Suspect Elder Financial Abuse
If you suspect questionable investment activity, contact the BCSC. Call us at 604-899-6854 or toll free at 1-800-373-6393, email [email protected], or through the “Report to Us” online form on the website.
If you suspect other forms of financial abuse, there are resources that you can look to for help.
SAIL (Senior Abuse Information Line) from Seniors First BC is a resource for older adults to receive general information about elder abuse. It is also 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).
Contact the RCMP or local police if you feel the abuse is a criminal matter. You can also call VictimLink BC at 1-800-563-0808 to receive information and referral services if you are a victim of a crime.
If you have any concerns about a person or company offering an investment opportunity, please contact BCSC Inquiries at 604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 or through e-mail at [email protected]. You can also file a complaint or submit a tip anonymous using BCSC’s online complaint form.