Protecting your Retirement

Are you concerned about having enough money for your retirement? If so, you’re not alone – 58% of New Brunswickers are worried they won’t have enough money to meet their retirement needs.

 

Scam artists prey on these fears by promising high returns on investments.  In reality, these investments, if they exist at all, are usually high-risk products that are not right for people looking to protect their nest egg as they approach retirement. Either way, you could lose some or all of your money. With little time to recover from the losses, many victims find their retirement plans shattered.


Why are you being Targeted?


Today's pre-retirees are facing a unique burden. On top of preparing for retirement, many are still financially responsible for dependent children. Some also find themselves financially responsible for aging parents who didn't save enough for their own retirement. This has many pre-retirees worried about not having enough money to last them through retirement. Scam artists prey on that fear by promising high-return, low-risk in-vestments. In reality, these investments are usually high-risk products that are not right for people looking to protect their nest egg as they approach retirement-if the investment exists at all. Either way, you could lose some or all of your money. With little time to recover from the losses, many victims find their retirement plans shattered.


Think you can't be Scammed?

You may be surprised to know that many fraud victims over 50 are comfortable with investing. How can a savvy investor fall for an investment scam? Research shows that people with investing experience are more open to investment opportunities and willing to take risks. It also shows that experienced investors are more likely to make their own investment decisions, without getting advice from an independent financial advisor. Whatever the reason, remember that successful scam artists are very good at manipulating people into making poor investment decisions.


Recognizing Investment Scams


How you might be approached:


  • Investment Seminars
    Scammers often target pre-retirees through "free lunch" investment seminars. These seminars have become a popular way of promoting investments. The investments themselves may not be scams, but the high-risk investments being promoted may not be appropriate for you as an investor, and the high-pressure sales tactics used at these seminars often raise concerns.


  • Through a Group you Belong to
    Affinity fraud is a type of scam that tar-gets groups like religious or business groups, ethnic communities or social clubs. The scam artist may be a member of the group or may know someone in the group. These scams are often successful because many people are less likely to question advice that comes from someone they know.


Common Scams:


  • "Private" or "Special Deals"
    In some cases, companies are allowed to sell securities without filing a prospectus. Although properly used by many legitimate issuers, scam artists take advantage of the exempt market to steal money from investors. They promote the special or private nature of these schemes and make false or misleading promises of high returns with little to no risk.


  • Not being registered with Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB)
    An illegal distribution occurs when a company or an individual offers or sells securities without being registered or without providing proper disclosure to investors. Always check that the individual and company are properly registered with the FCSC before handing over your money. Connect with us if you have questions.


  • Hot news items
    Scammers follow the headlines and often will build a scam around something that is popular in the news, such as gold or precious metals, oil and gas, or green technologies. Always ask questions and check out any investment before buying.



Take the following steps to protect yourself


  • Be wary of anyone who suggests investing your money into something you don't understand or who urges you to leave everything in their hands.  Stay in charge and make sure you understand what’s happening with your money.

  • Watch out for salespeople who prey on your fears and emotions. Con artists play on your worries about outliving your savings, or being a burden on your family… Don’t let fear cloud your good judgment.

  • Many people are looking for a way to quickly boost their retirement savings, but making a rushed decision could put you in a worse financial position.  Get the facts and take the time to evaluate and think it through before you make any decision.

  • Monitor your investments and ask tough questions. Insist on regular written reports.

  • Finally don't let embarrassment or fear keep you from reporting investment fraud or abuse. Criminals prey on your fears and count on that to prevent you from notifying authorities of a scam. Every day that you delay reporting fraud is one more day that the criminal is free to spend your money and target your friends and family as their new victims.

  

Related Areas


RRSPs, RESPs and TFSAs



Downloadable Resources


Protecting your retirement

It’s never too early, or too late, to prepare for the financial future of you and your family. Understand how to protect your retirement and avoid fraud.


Learn more about Investment Scams at our Tools & Resource Page