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The demographic profile of victims of investment fraud: an update

Mark Eshwar Lokanan (Faculty of Management, Royal Roads University, Victoria, Canada)
Susan Liu (Faculty of Management, Royal Roads University, Victoria, Canada)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 9 November 2020

Issue publication date: 5 August 2021




This study aims to examine the demographic factors of investors, contributing to financial victimization that occurs in Canada from June of 2008 to December of 2019.


In all 235 cases disclosing the details of financial crime victims are collected from the Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) enforcement platform between June of 2009 and December of 2019 for the analysis. The study used a descriptive analysis to showcase the demographic characteristics of investors who have been victims of financial crimes in Canada.


The findings indicate that these investors of age 60 and above were more likely to fall prey to various types of financial crime. The results also disclosed that retirees and investors with limited investment knowledge increase the probability of being vulnerable to the perpetrators than others.

Research limitations/implications

Overall, the study helps regulators in the securities industry gain insights into demographic portraits of the more vulnerable investors. Hence, more precautionary measures could pitch into these concerns to protect specific subsets of investors from investment fraud.


Individuals who are more vulnerable to investment fraud might not be entirely comparable with the stereotypical victims that most studies portray. The research gap could cause individual investors who appear to be at lower risk to unconsciously fall prey to investment fraud. The IIROC study, detailing the demographic factors of victims, can fill the gap and improve understanding of the tendency of victims.



The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


Lokanan, M.E. and Liu, S. (2021), "The demographic profile of victims of investment fraud: an update", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 647-658.



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