For immediate release
June 15, 2009

Securities regulators urge Canadians to help prevent financial abuse of seniors

Vancouver - The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 by urging Canadians to be aware of, and report, financial abuse involving seniors. 

Elder abuse relating to finances may appear in a variety of forms: an investment offered to a senior might be an outright fraud, or it could be a legitimate investment product that is unsuitable for the senior’s circumstances. Problems involving securities can also include theft of funds or products sold by unregistered sales representatives. 

“Financial losses through investment fraud and unsuitable investments can be devastating for anyone,” said CSA chair, Jean St-Gelais. “However, seniors living on a fixed income or limited savings have a more difficult time recovering from financial loss.” 

A 2007 CSA study found that victims of investment fraud experience negative effects on their physical and mental health. Fraud victims in the study reported higher stress levels, increased feelings or displays of anger, depression, and feelings of extreme loss or isolation, as well as physical effects such as panic or anxiety attacks.

The CSA encourages all seniors to investigate every investment opportunity before they give someone their money. Seniors should also consider seeking out independent, third party advice if they are unsure about an investment.

The CSA urges anyone who suspects or knows of an investment fraud to report it to their local securities regulator. Reporting potential scams may help prevent other seniors from becoming victims of investment fraud. 

The CSA website (www.securities-administrators.ca) provides important information about investing that can help seniors, their families, and their caregivers recognize and avoid investment scams. These include:

The CSA, the council of securities regulators of Canada’s provinces and territories, coordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets. 

For more information:

Carolyn Shaw-Rimmington
Ontario Securities Commission
416-593-2361

Sylvain Théberge
Autorité des marchés financiers
514-940-2176

Mark Dickey
Alberta Securities Commission
403-297-4481

Ken Gracey
British Columbia Securities Commission
604-899-6577

Ainsley Cunningham
Manitoba Securities Commission
204-945-4733

Wendy Connors-Beckett
New Brunswick Securities Commission
506-643-7745

Natalie MacLellan
Nova Scotia Securities Commission
902-424-8586

Barbara Shourounis
Saskatchewan Financial Services
Commission
306-787-5842

Janice Callbeck
PEI Securities Office
Office of the Attorney General
902-368-6288

Doug Connolly
Financial Services Regulation Div.
Newfoundland
and Labrador
709-729-2594

Fred Pretorius
Yukon Securities Registry
867-667-5225

Louis Arki
Nunavut Securities Office
867-975-6587

Donn MacDougall
Northwest Territories
Securities Office
867-920-8984