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How Well do You Know Elder Financial Abuse? Test Your Knowledge

Every June, the BCSC recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), but elder financial abuse can occur anytime.

Every June, the BCSC recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), but elder financial abuse can occur anytime. Understanding the severity of elder financial abuse – especially in a world where financial abuse is on the rise – is a critical first step to protecting seniors in British Columbia. Below, we shed light on some important facts about elder financial abuse and empower British Columbians to recognize the signs before they or their loved ones fall victim to investment fraud.  

Answer: Investment fraud

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) reported that in 2023 seniors lost a total of $38 million to investment fraud, making it the costliest form of fraud observed for reporting victims aged 60 and over.

How do you protect yourself from investment scams?

  • Learn the fraud warning signs
  • Don’t click on links or download attachments from unusual or unfamiliar sources.
  • Ask detailed questions about any potential investment opportunity.
  • Verify if investment companies and individuals are registered: aretheyregistered.ca.
  • Learn more about the different types of investment scams here.

Answer: Emerging adults and seniors.

The CAFC reports that in 2021 seniors and emerging adults, meaning individuals between the ages of 18-24, were increasingly represented in fraud and identity theft reporting.

This may be in part due to the growing benefits of the digital world and a lack of understanding about digital threats.


Answer: Romance scams

Romance scams happen when fraudsters lure individuals into false or misleading relationships often with the intention to steal money or commit other types of fraud.

With the rise of people meeting online the risk of fraud has also increased. $64.6 million in losses shows an alarming upward trend from 2020 when only 28 million in losses from romance scams were reported.          

Here are some of the warning signs of a romance scam:

  • They cannot meet you in person.
  • They avoid video chats.
  • They tend to fall in love quickly.
  • They steer the conversation toward finances or crypto assets.

Be extremely cautious when meeting new people online and never send money to invest based solely on someone’s advice you met on a social media or dating app.

Learn more on how to spot a romance scam

Answer: Those who are isolated, and those who do not understand English

Everyone has the right to be treated respectfully and to make decisions about their own money.

Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL) is a confidential information line for older adults and those who care to speak to a professional about abuse, mistreatment and any issues that impact the health and wellbeing of older adults in BC.  

Answer: aretheyregistered.ca

Securities industry professionals operating in BC are required to register with the BCSC, or the securities regulators where they do business . Their registration and good standing help reassure investors that the firms and individuals they deal with are properly qualified and that there are no disciplinary actions against them.

Answer: Trusted Contact Person

A Trusted Contact Person is an added layer of protection to help investors who may be vulnerable to safeguard themselves and their financial interests. A financial advisor can reach out to your TCP if they are concerned you are being financially exploited or if you are showing signs that you are unable to make financial decisions.

Answer: Keep the discussion going with these tips on how to start a conversation about elder abuse.

You can also visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre for the latest details on current frauds and scams.

Report a Concern

If you have any concerns about a person or company offering an investment opportunity, please contact BCSC Contact Centre at  604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393, or through email at [email protected]. You can also file a complaint or submit a tip anonymously using the BCSC’s online complaint form.

InvestRight.org is BCSC’s investor education website. Subscribe to receive email updates from BCSC InvestRight.

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