Wikipedia, the free on-line encyclopaedia, says unequivocally that these on-line investment opportunities are a “type of Ponzi scheme.” There are hundreds of them offered on-line, coupled with other websites which rate and analyze their performance, including their ability to pay.
When the BC Securities Commission banned Genius Funds, a high yield investment program, from selling securities in British Columbia, we learned that many investors from all over the world were investing in this fund. Calls came in to our inquiry line and comments were sent to our InvestRight.org blog. It told us that this whole category of funds merited some attention. We needed to warn investors about the ramifications of sending your money to invest in these funds.
Take a look. See what you can find out about who is managing these funds, where they are located and any explanation about how the money is being invested. Some information may be given. Often there is no hint as to who manages the fund. You may find out that the company is based in the Seychelles, the British Virgin Islands or Panama. Interesting to note that many companies are incorporated in countries with lax fraud laws to secure immunity from laws in other countries.
You might also want to do some research on the internet payment systems: Liberty Reserve, Perfect Money to name two. In short, do your homework. And remember that all Ponzi schemes eventually collapse and investors lose all of the money that they have invested.
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Earlier this year, our enforcement division received an anonymous tip that Orion Advisory Services and IntelliSource Markets B.V. (aka IS Markets) were targeting Canadian and UK investors, eight of whom lived in BC. We were able to contact five of the eight BC residents. All said they had been cold called to invest in Orion. […]
The publication of this report in advance of Fraud Prevention Month helps Canadians to more easily identify fraudulent approaches and learn how to avoid them. Several fraud prevention tools and resources are available on the CSA’s website.