Are you vulnerable to fraud?

Investment fraud is a sobering reality in British Columbia, with one quarter of citizens vulnerable according to a British Columbia Securities Commission poll. 

The BCSC surveyed over 500 British Columbians in February to see what their reaction would be to an investment offering "no risk" and "guaranteed" 14-25 per cent returns. It's a claim designed to have several investment fraud warning signs, but 26 per cent of respondents said they'd look into the offer. 

On top of this, 20 per cent of respondents said their reason for looking further into it would be because they needed the money, which makes them even more vulnerable.

“Investors should always be skeptical of anyone offering a risk free investment with an unusually high return, because there’s no such thing,” said Pamela McDonald, director of communications and education, BCSC. “We encourage investors to look carefully at every investment they make, but also to listen to your gut. If something doesn’t make sense, or doesn’t feel right, we encourage you to contact the BCSC."

According to the study, fraud vulnerability is high among young British Columbians, particularly women. Almost half of the 18-34 age group of women surveyed said they would look into the fake offer, as opposed to only 35 per cent in the same group.

Older age groups, on the other hand, have decreased their susceptibility as compared to a 2012 study, dropping from 26 to 13 per cent interested in the offer.

“We’re launching our 2018 Fraud Prevention Month campaign today to help investors recognize fraud and stop scams from spreading. This new survey provides a useful snapshot of how many British Columbians are still vulnerable,” McDonald said. “By being able to recognize and reject investment fraud, you could also be protecting your friends and family.”

For more information from the BCSC on fraud, visit their website.

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