It happens all too often: seniors are scammed by unscrupulous people selling phony investments, and seniors see their life savings devastated.
The province’s Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority says about 30 per cent of investment fraud claims received by the FCAA’s Securities Enforcement Branch come from seniors. They also say many seniors who are scammed may never report it because they are embarrassed and even afraid family members will decide they are incapable of handling their own finances.
In a news release, the enforcement branch executive director notes “unfortunately these fraudsters are extremely good at what they do.”
“The best thing victims of investment fraud can do is report it, not just for themselves, but for others who may fall victim to the same fraudster in the future,” said Ed Rodonets.
Seniors are good targets for these scammers because they have a lot of money – their life savings – which they need to invest. Combined with that, many seniors are worried their money will run out while they still need it.
The fraudsters often promise guaranteed returns – enough to make the victim think they can be secure financially for the rest of their lives. Instead, they often lose everything.
The agency has some advice: don’t be fooled by a friendly salesperson, always research who they are, and get independent advice on the proposed investment from someone you trust.
You should check aretheyregistered.ca to see if the salesperson you’re working with is registered to sell securities in Saskatchewan.
And the age old advice holds true: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you think you’re a victim of investment fraud, report it immediately.
For more information on investment fraud, visit the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority website.