Approximately one-in-four British Columbians are vulnerable to investment fraud, finds a poll commissioned by the BCSC.
The poll asked British Columbians about their reactions to an investment offer that claimed “guaranteed” returns of 14% to 25% and “no risk.” Although the claim contains several investment fraud warning signs, 26% of respondents say the offer was “worth looking into.” More troubling, 20% who would look into the offer say they’re interested because they need the money, indicating even greater vulnerability.
“Investors should always be skeptical of anyone offering a risk free investment with an unusually high return, because there’s no such thing,” says Pamela McDonald, director of communications and education at the BCSC, in a release.
The study shows that fraud vulnerability is highest among younger British Columbians, particularly women. In fact, 47% of millennial females aged 18 to 34 say they’d look into the fraudulent offer, as did 35% of men in the same age group.
Vulnerability was lowest among older respondents, and this number has decreased over time. Of respondents aged 55 and over, only 13% were vulnerable to the offer. That number is down compared to a similar 2012 national online study conducted by the BCSC, which showed 26% of British Columbians in that age group were vulnerable to investment fraud.
About the survey: The survey was part of an omnibus survey conducted by Innovative Research Group Inc. between Feb. 19 and 23, 2018. The online survey interviewed a representative sample of 529 British Columbians.