The internet is a quick, easy and cheap way for scam artists to find potential victims for their investment scams. Anyone with a credit card can deploy appealing promotional advertisements on search engines, social media sites and websites with relative ease.

BCSC InvestRight’s “Online Investment Promotions” video, the third video in the Spot Investment Scam video series, shows how easy it can be to get drawn into the allure of internet promotional materials claiming to make you rich

Advertisements that appear when you browse the internet are tailored towards your internet browsing history. This allows promoters to easily catch your attention by directing advertisements to niche markets. Scam artists can do the same thing by directing their scam promotional ads to demographics that they believe are more likely to fall victim to their scam.

It is always wise to do some research on a promotional investment if you are interested in it. Be careful if you are researching online though, as reviews you read could be forged by the scammer(s). Look into the company offering the investment and try to get an individual seller’s name. Once you have the seller’s identification, check to see if they are registered to sell investment products on Canadian Securities Administrator’s Check Registration web page.

Contact the British Columbia Securities Commission’s Inquiries Group at 604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393, or by email at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns regarding a potential investment. You can also report suspicious activity online through BCSC InvestRight’s Report a Scam form.

Suggested Reading

In your community – May 2012

Tis the season to be wary

What are Mortgage Investment Corporations?

More Resources

Enforcement Actions Instrumental in Deterring Financial Misconduct

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.

Older investors being targeted

  An interesting piece in the NY Times talked about how high net-worth, older investors in the United States are being targeted for investment fraud. The articles calls investment fraud a “growth business.”   There is no question that the same thing is happening here.  We have significant populations of older Canadians living in communities […]