The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) is warning the public about potentially fraudulent ads by companies offering opportunities to work from home as securities traders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ads state that traders can keep a large percentage of the profits, and they don’t need experience or a licence; however, the firms demand payment of fees from would-be traders, and the BCSC believes neither the firms nor fees are legitimate.

In Canada, anyone in the business of trading securities must be registered with the securities regulator in each province or territory where they do business, unless an exemption applies. To become registered, individuals need to meet minimum proficiency standards.

The BCSC expects that similar scams will continue to increase as more Canadians are looking for alternative sources of income due to layoffs or requirements to stay home during the COVID-19 crisis.

Anyone who has information about these schemes is urged to contact the BCSC Inquiries line at 604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 or to file a complaint online.

The BCSC is also warning investors about companies claiming to have products or services that will prevent, detect or cure COVID-19. At this time, there is no vaccine or natural health product that is authorized to treat or protect against COVID-19.

Be cautious of any claims that a company has a solution to help stop the pandemic. Reliable information about COVID-19 is available from the World Health Organization and the Government of Canada.

More information about the BCSC’s response to the COVID-19 crisis is available on the BCSC website .

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.

InvestRight.org is the British Columbia Securities Commission’s investor education website. Subscribe to receive email updates from BCSC InvestRight.

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