To mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), FCNB is inviting New Brunswickers to a free webinar on June 14 to learn about the signs of financial abuse, how to prevent it and what to do if you see it happening.
FCNB is teaming up with Laura Tamblyn Watts, president and CEO of CanAge, Canada's national seniors' advocacy organization, to deliver the webinar, which will inform New Brunswickers of the signs and ways they can protect themselves and their loved ones from financial exploitation and fraud.
While the prevalence of senior financial abuse in New Brunswick is unknown due to its global underreporting, in a 2019 survey conducted by FCNB one in five New Brunswickers reported knowing a senior who’s been a victim of financial abuse. There are many reasons that financial abuse goes unreported. Sometimes those who are targeted do not realize that they have been financially abused, often because the abuse is at the hands of someone they love. Other times, people are reluctant to report for fear of losing their independence if their family finds out they have been victimized. And often, people do not know where to turn and seek help.
“A serious financial loss can be devastating to anyone, but particularly to older adults,” says Deborah Gillis, Senior Legal Counsel and chair of the FCNB Seniors Initiative Committee, whose purpose is to examine issues faced by older adults when receiving financial and consumer services. “It can be much harder for an older adult who may be retired to recover and regain their financial stability.”
WEAAD is a global event marked each year on June 15 to shine a light on the sad reality of elder abuse and the many ways it affects seniors. FCNB uses this day as an opportunity to raise awareness of senior financial abuse and teach New Brunswickers how to recognize and prevent it.
In addition to the June 14 webinar, FCNB is launching the Know the Signs quiz. New Brunswickers can test their knowledge with this short online quiz and get tips on how to prevent financial abuse.
Throughout June, FCNB will share resources on social media to help New Brunswickers recognize the signs of senior financial abuse and to encourage all New Brunswickers to check in on the older adults in their lives. Visit FCNB’s web page for more educational resources such as:
- Access to register for the free FCNB and CanAge Webinar
- The Know the Signs knowledge quiz
- Spend Smart NB video on senior financial abuse
- Guides on How to recognize financial decline in seniors—and help prevent financial abuse, and Protecting seniors from fraud and financial abuse during COVID-19
- Downloadable brochures, tools and resources
“Putting an end to senior financial abuse should be a priority for all New Brunswickers,” says Gillis. “Learning to recognize the red flags of fraud, knowing the signs of financial abuse and watching for them in family and friends can make a big difference. If you suspect a loved one might be a target of a fraud, scam or financial exploitation, reach out to them. We also encourage the use of FCNB tools and resources on the FCNB’s website.”
The Financial and Consumer Services Commission has the mandate to protect consumers and enhance public confidence in the financial and consumer marketplace through the provision of regulatory and educational services. It is responsible for the administration and enforcement of provincial legislation regulating mortgage brokers, payday lenders, real estate, securities, insurance, pensions, credit unions, trust and loan companies, co-operatives, and a wide range of other consumer legislation. It is an independent Crown corporation funded by the regulatory fees and assessments paid by the regulated sectors. Educational tools and resources are available online.