Today, the Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB) launched a new, on-demand e-learning course to help educate New Brunswickers so they can protect against financial exploitation and financial abuse.
Launched to coincide with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, the new course is intended for financial and consumer services industry professionals, caregivers, older adult support workers, older adults and their family and friends. It is intended to arm these groups with the tools and resources needed to feel empowered to recognize and protect against financial exploitation.
“Putting an end to financial exploitation should be a priority for all New Brunswickers,” says Marissa Sollows, FCNB’s Director of Communication and Public Affairs. “Learning to be vigilant and aware of financial abuse and frauds targeting older adults is vital to protecting yourself, your loved ones and your clients.”
Financial abuse is the most common form of abuse of older adults in Canada, according to the federal government. It is often perpetrated by someone the victim knows and trusts, like a friend or family member and it has serious impacts on victims beyond just financial harm.
It is any act involving the misuse or abuse of funds or assets, including theft, abuse of authority under a power of attorney or convincing an older or vulnerable adult to invest in a fraudulent investment product. Often referred to as the “invisible crime of the 21st century,” it can be difficult to identify or recognize and is seldom reported.
“We want to change that,” Sollows said. “We hope this new, free e-learning course will help educate New Brunswickers to be aware of the signs of financial exploitation so that we can work together as a community to put an end to it.”
For several years, FCNB has offered in-person presentations on the subject. The introduction of this e-learning course provides a more accessible option for New Brunswickers to develop awareness of the signs and ways to prevent financial exploitation, and to learn how to assist someone who may be a victim.
The course is free of charge and can be shared as an organizational-wide learning initiative. Key topics covered are:
- factors that increase vulnerability
- scams and schemes targeting older New Brunswickers
- red flags of financial exploitation and cognitive decline
In addition to launching the e-learning course to mark WEAAD, FCNB will share resources on social media throughout June to help New Brunswickers recognize the signs of financial exploitation and to encourage all New Brunswickers to have important financial discussions with the older adults in their lives. Visit Finances50Plus.FCNB.ca for more educational resources.
Audio files of Marissa Sollows, Director of Communications and Public Affairs at FCNB
FCNB has the mandate to provide regulatory services that protect the public interest, enhance public confidence and promote understanding of the regulated sectors through educational programs. 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, cooperatives, 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. Online educational tools and resources are available at www.fcnb.ca.