The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is warning the public about an investment scam claiming to represent Fidelity Investments.
The scam provides investors with documents outlining two investment opportunities that purportedly offer a guaranteed and high rate of return on the investments. The “Fidelity Capital Protected Fixed Income Fund” and the “Guaranteed Investment Bond” are not products offered by Fidelity Investments.
To make the documents appear more legitimate, they reference that the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) regulates the investment firm and its products, and that investors have a right to file a complaint with FCAC if they are dissatisfied. They also falsely state that the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) will provide protection to people who invest in these products. FCAC does not regulate investment firms.
The CSA encourages investors to watch out for the following red flags in order to avoid investment scams:
- Ignore promises of “guaranteed” high returns with little or no risk: Generally, the higher the return, the higher the level of risk. Make sure the opportunity is suitable for your investment goals before investing your money.
- Review the prospectus: Generally, securities offered to the public are accompanied by a prospectus – a document that provides detailed information about the security and the company offering it. Investors should review this document closely before making any investment decisions. Disclosure documents are also available on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR). You can search by date, document type, company name or industry sector.
- Check registration: Before working with any adviser or investment firm, find out if they are registered. Individuals and firms selling securities are required to be registered by securities regulators to sell you any investment. Check registration and any disciplinary history through the CSA website.
- Get independent, professional advice: Take some time to consult with a person who is not participating in the investment, such as a lawyer, banker, accountant, financial adviser or someone else with financial expertise before investing. Don’t feel pressured to hand over your money until you’ve had some time to carefully consider the investment.
The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada’s provinces and territories, co-ordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets.
Report a Concern
If you have any concerns about a person or company offering an investment opportunity, please contact BCSC Inquiries at 604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 or through e-mail at [email protected]. You can also file a complaint or submit a tip anonymously using the BCSC’s online complaint form.