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Spot Investment Scams

Have you ever received a telephone call about an “amazing investment opportunity”? If so, be careful; the investment may not actually exist.

Cold Calls & Email Promotions

Be Wary – Say no, and hang up if someone is pressuring you to invest.
Be Firm  Stick with the investment goals that are right for you.
Get Advice  Run the opportunity by an independent professional — a lawyer or registered investment advisor.
Be Informed – Do your research — check for disciplinary history or enforcement actions.
Cold Calls & Email Promotions Checklist

Many people turn to those they trust as sources of information when it comes to investing. Be careful. The ones you love don’t always have the right answers.

Fraud Among Friends & Family

Be Suspicious – “Exclusive” offers are often scams and friends/family don’t always have the answer.
Be Informed  Research backgrounds, credentials, and the investment (ask for written material).
Get Advice – Run the opportunity by an independent professional — a lawyer or registered investment advisor.
Be Skeptical – Spectacular returns with little or no risk don’t exist.
Friends & Family Checklist

The Internet is a quick, easy, and cheap way for scam artists to find potential victims for their investment scams.

Online Investment Promotions

Be Suspicious  Don’t fall for claims of information given to only “special” people.
Stay Private Don’t give out your personal information.
Stay Real  Don’t expect to get rich quick.
Stay Safe – Install anti-spam software. Don’t reply to unsolicited/unfamiliar emails.
Be Informed Research backgrounds, credentials, and the investment.
Online Promotions Checklist

The atmosphere at investment seminars can be charged and exciting, and once you are there, it can be difficult to avoid the high-pressure sales tactics.

Investment Seminars

Be Wary  Fraudsters use pressure tactics and excessive use of financial jargon.
Be Suspicious  Avoid “free” investment seminars that promise gifts or promotions.
Be Skeptical – Question “secret” techniques that make you rich fast.
Be Real  You can defer taxes, but you can’t avoid paying them.
Be Informed  Research backgrounds, credentials and the investment.
Investment Seminars Checklist

Does an investment ad you read in the paper or hear about on the radio sound too good to be true? It just might be.

Investment Ads

Be Savvy Fraudsters often use newspapers, TV, radio, billboards, tradeshow booths, and seminars to promote fraudulent investments.
Be Suspicious – Avoid the temptation of free gifts or promotions.
Be Skeptical – Spectacular returns with little or no risk don’t exist; question “offshore” and “tax free” promotional language.
Be Informed  Research salespersons backgrounds and credentials, and get a second opinion about the investment.
Investment Ads Checklist

Check Before Investing

Check a salesperson’s registration on the Canadian Securities Administrators’ (CSA) website or contact the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC).

Report Suspicious Investments

Bring suspicious investment activity to the attention of the BCSC by contacting BCSC Inquiries. You can report suspicious activity anonymously through the BCSC’s online complaint form. Remember to keep records in case you need to make a complaint or take legal action.