Nina Asusa, Broker

Nina's journey in real estate began in the early 1990's where her passion for real-estate quickly grew from an investor and home renovator, to where she is today. In 2006*, Nina launched her full-time real estate career and quickly found herself helping her clients, who many became friends, achieve not just any lifestyle, but the lifestyle they wanted for themselves. Her model was and always will be ''Don't follow someone else's story; create your own story, create your own lifestyle, because 'home is where your story begins.'''  From a single realtor, to developing a strong team of realtors she personally mentored and later owning a real estate brokerage firm, Nina's focus remained the same. She continues to channel her high energy and extensive experience into understanding her client's needs and wants, and in helping them in their real estate journey. Nina's greatest honour is the trust others grant her when welcoming her in their life's journey.

Bust fraud before it busts you

By: Scott Penney, PFP | IPC

Bust fraud before it busts you


To be successful, a scam has to be believable – and scam artists are successful. Over just two-year, from 2014 to 2016, Canadians lost over $290 million to scams.However, you can distinguish fact from fiction and protect yourself from fraud by staying aware and learning to identify the red flags. Here are simple ways to prevent some of the day’s most popular financial scams from happening to you.
Emergency Scam

Also known as the "grandparent scam”, the typical scenario involves an elderly person being contacted by someone claiming to be their grandchild in distress and in need of money. They often have a story about being injured, jailed or stuck in a foreign country. The victim is urged to wire funds immediately and not tell anyone so that the “grandchild” doesn’t get into more trouble.
Avoid this scam: Before you take any steps to help, verify the person's identity by asking questions only someone you know could answer. Also, tell those who you trust what’s going on. 

Antivirus software scam

If you are contacted by someone who says you have a computer virus and that they work for a software company that can fix the issue, beware – it is likely a scam. The fraudster wants you to grant them remote access to your computer or pay for a service to remedy the supposed virus in order to steal your money or your personal information (or both). 
Avoid this scam: Be skeptical of unsolicited calls and emails as they can be a red flag for fraud. If you have a computer problem, reach out to a reputable company on your own and never provide your credit card information to an unconfirmed source.

Charity Scam

Bogus charities operate on the street, at your doorstep, by phone and online. They may even set up a fake website or use a name very similar to that of a legitimate, well-known charity. Scam charities thrive after natural or other disasters because fraudsters take advantage of those situations to trick people who want to help the victims.
Avoid this scam: Research unfamiliar charities, especially those that approach you, before pledging your financial support. Charities in good standing are happy to provide details about what they do and will never insist that you act right away. Think twice if you are asked to wire money, or donate cash or gift cards – these forms of payment are virtually impossible to trace or recover.

Investment seminars

Scammers target pre-retirees in particular through “free lunch” investment seminars that promote get-rich-quick schemes or risky products that aren’t appropriate for people looking to protect their retirement nest eggs. While the investments themselves may not be scams, questionable high-pressure sales tactics are often involved.
Avoid this scam: Promises of “easy” investment strategies and “guaranteed” high returns typically sound too good to be true, and it is best to assume they probably are. In reality, you are likely to lose some or all of your investment with limited recourse to get your money back. Do not be tempted or feel rushed into making an investment decision. Ask questions, do your research and get the details in writing.

Online fraud resources

Con artists count on people not doing their homework. Arming yourself with information is the best way to stay a step ahead of the scammers. The internet can help, and online made-in-Canada resources include:
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre – Canada’s central agency for information and criminal intelligence on fraud
Competition Bureau of Canada – More advice on fraud prevention
Canadian Securities Administrators – Focused on investment fraud
Royal Canadian Mounted Police – Identity Theft and Identify Fraud Victim Assistance Guide
Click here if you would be interested in booking an appointment with a financial advisor regarding financial planning or other estate plans you are considering.
This article was originally published in January 2019 at supplied by Scott Penney, PFP® and Wealth Advisor with Investment Planning Counsel of Canada.

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