A purported New York-based investment firm that was advertising its services in online classifieds is one of six recent additions to the British Columbia Securities Commission’s Investment Caution List.

BCSC staff added High Profit Investment Ltd. to the Investment Caution List after finding out the firm solicited BC residents to open trading accounts and have the company trade commodities on their behalf. The solicitations were through online classified ads that recently appeared in the Vancouver region.

On its website, High Profit Investment purports to be a U.S.-based securities and commodities firm, specializing in “online Foreign Exchange (“Forex”) brokerage.”

A Google search of High Profit Investment’s address turned up a pizzeria in the borough of The Bronx in New York City. In our experience, anchovies and investments are not usually sold from the same location, so we made a phone call. It turns out that the pizzeria is no longer located at this address, nor is anyone else. According to the business next door, the location is now an empty storefront.

What’s even more important for investors to know, is the fact High Profit Investment is not registered to do business in the securities industry, in any capacity, in U.S. or Canada. This can be verified by doing a registration search.

The five other recent additions to the Investment Caution List are: Royal Securities Corp., International Youtrade Investments MA Ltd., You Trade Holdings Limited, Offshore Trading Company and Golden Futures Trader.

The Ontario Securities Commission suspended the registration of Royal Securities Corp. and issued an investor alert regarding the firm and its principal, Ningyuan Guo, also known as Mark Guo. The BCSC added the company to the list after receiving this information.

BCSC staff added International Youtrade Investments and You Trade Holdings to the list after Québec’s Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) cautioned Québec residents about the two firms.

In a news release, the AMF warned about the solicitations the companies were making on their websites, which invited Québec investors to open accounts to invest in derivatives, a complex and volatile investment product. The release went on to say that the companies are not registered as derivatives dealers or advisors with the AMF.

A warning from Panama’s national securities commission regarding Offshore Trading Company prompted BCSC staff to add the company to the list. In its warning, the commission said that Offshore Trading (a.k.a. Offshore Trading Inc.) is not authorized to carry out business as a financial intermediary in or from the Republic of Panama.

Finally, the BCSC added Golden Futures Trader to the list. Staff has information that this company contacted BC residents who lost money after investing with Occidental Capital Partners, a company that was added to the list on March 2, 2011. On its website, Golden Futures Trader falsely claims to be a member of the National Futures Association.

None of these new additions to the Investment Caution List hold registration to trade or advise in British Columbia. We urge you to let us know right away if you are contacted by any individual or company that is not registered to trade or advise in BC.

You can do a background and registration search on the InvestRight website if you are unsure about a company or individual’s registration status. Our Inquiries Group can also help you determine registration status. Their contact information is listed under in the Contact Us section of the website.

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