Be the Change – Let’s Talk About Fraud

I remember when my dad’s bike was stolen as a kid – from our garage. We were all shaken after the event, and couldn’t believe how close the thief got to us.

After the bike was stolen, my dad did a few things to combat the situation – he told our neighbours so others were aware of the local threat to their personal belongings and could better protect themselves, and he called the police, to report and take action against the crime.

The same steps should be taken with investment fraud. There is often a stigma for victims of financial fraud, who are sometimes ashamed to talk about what happened. But sharing our experiences with authorities, neighbours, friends and family can help leave us all better protected against the dangers of financial fraud.

Three reasons talking about money can protect your retirement

1.      It helps people see the red flags

Sharing our stories about investment fraud helps others better identify the warning signs, when dealing with potential scammers. Knowing about potential risks, and just how many people are affected by investment fraud every year, can also help us put better measures in place to protect ourselves.

See some of the common red flags of investment fraud here.

2.      It helps people better protect themselves

Fraudsters are successful because they know how to expose our vulnerabilities. Sometimes when we are faced with a scam that sounds like a promising investment opportunity to help solve our money problems, talking it out with another person can stop us from making rash decisions.

When we’re comfortable talking about our savings and retirement plans, as well as who we are working with to support our financial futures, we are less exposed to fraudsters traps. Commit to talking about money with your family. The more your core network knows, the more they can support you.

3.      It relieves some of the stigma

Most importantly, the more we talk about it, and shed light on it, the easier it becomes to talk about. Our hope at MoneySmart Manitoba is to erase the stigma.

Relieving the sense of shame people feel when talking about it helps reduce the risks for all.

 

Fraud thrives in darkness, so the more we talk about it, the more we are able to avoid it. Like the story with my dad’s bike – sharing his story helped others be aware of potential threats, and be more prepared to combat them.

If you are interested in learning more about financial fraud, check out the resources below:

 

Christine Saunders is a marketing consultant to service-based organizations, a strategic advisor to marketing executives and leaders, an entrepreneur and a hobby farmer. Prior to founding her marketing strategy firm, Halmyre, in 2014, Christine owned a traditional integrated marketing and communications agency specializing in financial services, public services and not-for-profits. Her education is in politics, ethics and philosophy, and she is a proud Maritimer despite living in Upper Canada today.

 

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  1. Tricia Tollins says:

    Reducing stigma around money and fraud is so important! It’s uncomfortable to admit that something has happened to you, but it is worth it to encourage others to be more vigilant and will help reduce the success of the fraudsters.

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