Spot Investment Scams

Fraud artists will do anything to separate you from your money. Knowing how to protect yourself could save you from falling for an investment scam.

Have you ever received a telephone call about an 'amazing investment opportunity'? If so, be careful: the investment may not actually exist. Click here to view video.

Cold Calls & Email Promotions

Be wary: Say no, and hang up if someone is pressuring you to invest.

Be firm: Stick with your investment goals that are right for you.

Get advice: Run the opportunity by an independent professional – a lawyer or registered investment advisor.

Be informed: Do your research – check for disciplinary history or enforcement actions.

Many people turn to those they trust as sources of information when it comes to investing. Be careful. The ones you love don’t always have the right answers. Click here to view video.

Fraud Among Friends & Family

Be suspicious: “Exclusive” offers are often scams and friends/family don’t always have the answer.

Be informed: Research backgrounds, credentials and the investment (ask for written material).

Get advice: Run the opportunity by an independent professional – a lawyer or registered investment advisor.

Be skeptical: Spectacular returns with little or no risk don’t exist

The internet is a quick, easy and cheap way for scam artists to find potential victims for their investment scams. Click here to view video.

Online Investment Promotions

Be suspicious: Don’t fall for claims of information given to only “special” people.

Stay private: Don’t give out your personal information.

Stay real: Don’t expect to get rich quick.

Stay safe: Install anti-spam software. Don’t reply to unsolicited/unfamiliar emails.

Be informed: Research backgrounds, credentials and the investment.

The atmosphere at investment seminars can be charged and exciting, and once you are there, it can be difficult to avoid the high-pressure sales tactics. Click here to view video.

Investment Seminars

Be wary: Fraudsters use pressure tactics and excessive use of financial jargon.

Be suspicious: Avoid “free” investment seminars that promise gifts or promotions.

Be skeptical: Question “secret” techniques that make you rich fast.

Be real: You can defer taxes, but you can’t avoid paying them.

Be informed: Research backgrounds, credentials and the investment.

Does an investment ad you read in the paper or hear about on the radio sound too good to be true? It just might be. Click here to view video.

Investment Ads

Be savvy: Fraudsters often use newspapers, TV, radio, billboards, tradeshow booths, and seminars to promote fraudulent investments.

Be suspicious: Avoid the temptation of free gifts or promotions.

Be skeptical: Spectacular returns with little or no risk don’t exist; question “offshores” and “tax free”.

Be informed: Research backgrounds, credentials and the investment.

Check before investing:

Check a salesperson’s registration on the Canadian Securities Administrators website or contact the BC Securities Commission.

Report suspicious investments:

Bring suspicious investment activity to the attention of the BC Securities Commission by contacting BCSC Inquiries. You can also anonymously report suspicious activity through the Report a Scam form.

Remember to keep records in case you need to make a complaint or take legal action.