June 15, 2010
SAINT JOHN (CNB) - In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, the New Brunswick Securities Commission (NBSC) urges New Brunswickers to value and protect our seniors by learning to recognize and report financial abuse.
Elder abuse can come in many forms - physical, emotional, financial, neglect or abandonment - and it is a serious concern. Older victims of financial abuse, including investment fraud, are particularly hard hit because if they lose all or part of their life savings they have less time to recover their financial stability.
To teach New Brunswickers how to recognize the signs of investment fraud and financial abuse of seniors, the NBSC has released a new Pocket Guide on Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation, and a Financial Concerns Checklist. The guide and the checklist are resources for those who have contact with seniors including professionals in the health care sector and senior's residences, and their families.
"New Brunswickers should not ignore the signs of elder abuse," said David Barry, chair of the NBSC. "Through awareness and education, we hope to provide support to those who work with and care for seniors."
In recognition of June being Senior's Month, the Senior and Healthy Aging Secretariat has partnered with the commission to help promote this new resource.
"More and more we hear about theft, fraud, telephone and investment scams affecting our seniors," said Minister of State for Seniors Cheryl Lavoie. "The financial exploitation of the elderly goes beyond monetary losses. Victims may experience social isolation, illness and depression, which are reasons why it is so important to report elder abuse immediately. It is a terrible wrong against our seniors that has to stop."
The pocket guide outlines how to recognize the red flags of financial abuse, what resources are available to help and how to report financial abuse or investment fraud. Investment fraud occurs when a fraudulent security is offered or when an unsuitable product is sold, based on the investor's circumstances. Other investment-related issues may include unregistered products, theft of funds or products sold by an unlicensed adviser or broker.
Investors and caregivers are urged to contact the commission to verify if the product and the person selling it are registered. The guide and other resources are available on the commission website or can be requested by contacting the commission at 1-866-933-2222 or email@example.com.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was spearheaded by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse five years ago. The day is recognized by thousands of international organizations and communities around the world. To support elder abuse awareness you may contact the network online.
MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Robichaud, communications, New Brunswick Securities Commission, 506-643-7045; Judy Cole, communications, Senior and Healthy Aging Secretariat, 506-444-3542.