Alberta regulator sheds light on risks to seniors' financial security

Alberta regulator sheds light on risks to seniors' financial security | Smart Association - PCMA

Alberta regulator sheds light on risks to seniors

The latest Investor Index by the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) highlighted the risks being faced by Albertans aged 55 and over.

The study revealed that one in three senior Albertans report having been approached with a potentially fraudulent investment, which is higher than the average rate for all age groups at 26%.

ASC director for communications and investor education Alison Trollope said this was not surprising given that seniors are an attractive target for scam artists.

"Seniors have often spent a lifetime building retirement funds. They may own their home or have a pension. Scam artists go where the money is," Trollope said.

The publication of the study coincided with Seniors' Week in early June and World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15.

The study also showed that one in five senior Albertans do not feel at ease in terms of having enough money for retirement and anticipate needing additional financial support.

Around 29% of these seniors were unsure if they will have enough money to last through their retirement years.

Furthermore, over half of senior Albertans are not open to their friends and family about their finances. ASC said this could indicate a potential vulnerability to abuse.

"We want to empower seniors to make wise investing decisions by taking important but easy steps like checking the registration of anyone offering an investment and learning the red flags of investment fraud such as high rates of return with low or no risk," Trollope said.

To help seniors prevent investment scams and secure their financial health, ASC set up a seniors-focused webpage at CheckFirst.ca/Seniors which has several investor education tools and resources. For seniors without internet access, they can reach ASC through (877) 355-4488 to request printed copies of investing toolkits.