BCSC Investment Caution List: Five New Additions

The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) added five entities to the Investment Caution List. Two of the five entries are involved in binary options trading.

The BCSC relies on information from the public or other agencies to create the Investment Caution List. You can report suspicious activity or solicitations to the BCSC with the Report a Concern form on InvestRight.org.

All of the firms listed below are unregistered. BC residents should always exercise caution and refrain from investing with any company that’s not registered to trade in, or advise on, securities and exchange contracts. No business is registered to market, trade, or sell binary options in Canada.

Suisse Option and Redwood Options

  • Suisse Option claims to be a binary options trading platform based in Hong Kong, China. The BCSC became aware of Suisse Option when BC residents were able to open trading accounts with the firm. Suisse Option is not registered to trade in, or advise on, exchange contracts in BC.
  • Redwood Options, operated by Hampshire Capital Ventures Ltd., claims to be a binary options trading brokerage based in Norwich, England. We recently heard of Redwood Options and learned the company may be operating in BC. Redwood Options is not registered to trade in, or advise on, securities or exchange contracts in BC.

Binary Options Scams

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) have been working to alert the public to the dangers of binary options scams, including providing resources on how to spot a potential fraud and protect friends and family who may be at risk.

A large number of binary options scams begin online when a fraudulent website appears to offer legitimate investments. Investors seeking a profit end up depositing money with the website, but the trading activity and returns they see are not real. The fraudsters running the scam eventually shut down the website and take all of the investors’ money. In some cases, credit card and banking information is stolen, which can result in even bigger losses for investors.

Earlier this month, the BCSC’s Director of Enforcement explained the details of binary options schemes and how investors they can protect themselves at a Better Business Bureau Top 10 Scams event in Vancouver.

You can visit binaryoptionsfraud.ca to learn more about this type of investment scam.

Cap Growth FX, Trade12, and Bristol Financial Offshore

  • Cap Growth FX provides services in opening and managing trading accounts. The firm is not registered to trade in, or advise on, securities or exchange contracts in BC.
  • Trade12, owned and operated by Exo Capital Markets Limited and Global Fin Services Ltd., claims to be based in Estonia. It offers an online foreign exchange (forex), gold, silver, oil, and stock index futures trading platform. Futures contracts are a type of derivative security. A BC resident was recently able to open a trading account with Trade12, even though the firm is not registered to trade in, or advise on, securities and exchange contracts in BC.
  • Bristol Financial Offshore, operating as Bristol Financial and Bristol Offshore, claims to be an investment firm based in New York and Luxembourg. Bristol Financial Offshore solicited a BC resident, but the firm is not registered to trade in, or advise on, securities or exchange contracts in this province.

March is Fraud Prevention Month

Ensure you know how to identify a scam and protect your money from fraudsters with our Fraud Prevention Month page on InvestRight.org. You can watch our Fraudster Crooner video, learn how to conduct a background check on a financial advisor, and access other fraud awareness resources.

If you have any concerns about a person or company offering an investment opportunity, please contact BCSC Inquiries at 604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393, or through e-mail at [email protected]. You can also file a complaint or submit a tip anonymously using BCSC’s online complaint form.

InvestRight.org is the British Columbia Securities Commission’s investor education website.

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