Downtown Vancouver, BC with bridge over harbour

The B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC) reports that approximately one quarter of investors in British Columbia appear to be vulnerable to investment fraud as they fail to spot classic red flags, and that young women appear particularly vulnerable, according to the results of a recent online survey.

In particular, 26% of survey participants indicated that it would be “worth looking into” an investment offer that promised “guaranteed” returns of 14% to 25% with “no risk” — despite the basic signs of fraud contained in the offer.

Furthermore, the BCSC reports that almost half (47%) of females aged 18 to 34 said they would be interested in the offer and 35% of men in the same age group also indicated their likely interest.

“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 statement.

The BCSC also notes that 20% of survey participants said that they would be interested in the offer “because they need the money, indicating even greater vulnerability.”

The survey was conducted as part of an omnibus survey by Innovative Research Group Inc. on behalf of the BCSC between Feb. 19 and 23, with a representative sample of 529 B.C. residents.