May 18, 2007

Vancouver People with inboxes crammed with unsolicited emails touting penny stocks can now help the British Columbia Securities Commission in its fight against spam by forwarding the unwelcome emails.

The BCSC issued today an investor alert about an over-the-counter quoted company as part of a new program that features halting the trading of securities of companies that are the subject of a stock spam campaign.

BCSC staff has temporarily halted trading of the securities of Compliance Systems Corp. (COPI.OB), a company with shares quoted on the US Over-the-Counter-Bulletin Board. The order bars any trading of the company’s shares in BC for three business days.

This new initiative – ‘SpamWatch’ – alerts investors about and helps prevent the trading in BC of company shares that are the subject of stock spam campaigns.

“With the huge amount of spam circulating that can cause improper or unfair trading, we are stepping up our public warnings by issuing alerts and taking immediate action with temporary halts,” says BCSC Executive Director Brenda Leong.

Unsolicited emails or spam can cause unfair trading in securities that can be harmful to investors and can tarnish the reputation of BC’s capital markets. By halting trading early in the spam campaign, BCSC staff hope to prevent BC investors from being victimized.

The BCSC is focusing on companies that do not have to disclose financial information to Canadian regulators and are not listed on a Canadian exchange. This is because spam campaigners usually target issuers with securities quoted on the US OTCBB or Pink Sheets.

As part of SpamWatch, BCSC staff are tracking and monitoring stock spam and have dedicated an email address – [email protected] – for the public to forward unsolicited emails touting stocks.

Not only are investors encouraged to forward stock spam to the BCSC, they can also go to the website to see a list of companies that have been the subject of spam campaigns along with the companies whose shares the BCSC has halted.

“This list gives investors another reference tool for doing their due diligence when deciding whether to invest,” Leong says.

InvestRight is the British Columbia Securities Commission’s one-stop resource for investors to educate themselves on how to make informed investment decisions. Its comprehensive website at provides a wide range of tools to help investors develop critical thinking skills they need to protect themselves – information such as how to do background checks, investment products, a scam meter and video clips from victims of investment fraud.

The BCSC is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province. If you have questions, contact Andrew Poon, Media Relations, 604-899-6880.

Suggested Reading

RRSP Season 2012: Fund Facts for mutual funds

Genius Funds: A sad state of affairs

Investor Watch: BCSC concerned about wealth enhancement seminars

More Resources

Arrests a reminder to investigate before you invest

On July 8, 2011, the British Columbia Securities Commission announced its Criminal Investigations Team arrested Ronald James Conn and his wife, Sze Man “Ella” Conn. The Conns were arrested in Vancouver on June 28, 2011 by members of the BCSC’s Criminal Investigations Team, with assistance from the Vancouver Police Department. It is alleged that Ronald […]

Rules of engagement for avoiding boiler room scams

You pick up the phone. Hello? Hello? Hello! Nothing at the other end but empty space. It could be a: Charity canvasser Local political candidate Licensed investment advisor Pollster Boiler room shyster That empty space at the end of the line probably means the call is being connected to a call centre. It could be at […]