It’s October but the chill people are feeling isn’t just from the temperature dropping outdoors as investors can’t help but shiver as they take stock of the financial mess from the past year. Add to this the stories of investment fraud victimizing people and it is no wonder that investors are feeling a bit left out in the cold. Where can people turn for help?
On the fraud avoidance front, we can help. As part of Investor Education month, we have launched an online, interactive tool entitled, Investment Scams: How to Protect Your Money. It focuses on some common methods that fraudsters use to approach potential victims – via friend and family or ‘affinity’, the Internet, seminars and advertisements.
Developed jointly by the BC Securities Commission and Alberta Securities Commission this online resource engages users with an opening quiz and testimonials to raise awareness of the ways fraudsters attract their victims. The testimonials are based on real cases depicting how people are drawn into scams.
The comprehensive tool provides information about how to recognize, research and prevent fraud. Offered as modules that can be easily accessed and shared, the resource provides investors with checklists and tips to help them evaluate and research investment opportunities for risks and potential fraud. As well, there are features within the resource to help investors directly email questions to a person offering them an investment and submit a complaint to the securities regulators.
We hope people will use to this new resource in the fight against financial fraud.
This RRSP season, the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) is encouraging investors to make smarter decisions and learn more about the role they play when working with an investment advisor.