Fraud Warning Signs

If an investment you’re interested in has the characteristics of one of these five warning signs, it’s okay to say no.

If you suspect an investment offer is a scam, report it to the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) with the anonymous Report a Concern form or contact BCSC Inquiries.

bg-content-sign-01NO RISK!

There’s no such thing as a guaranteed investment: the higher the returns, the higher the risk. This type of sales pitch is often aimed at people who live on a fixed income or those near or in early retirement who are worried about having enough money.

bg-content-sign-02PROFIT LIKE THE PROS!

These scams are pitched as opportunities known only to a select few who are said to be making a lot of money. The scam artist convinces you that he or she has access to this inside information or special advisors. An example of this is the “prime bank” scam.

bg-content-sign-03OFFSHORE, TAX FREE!

Fraudsters pitch this scheme as a way to avoid paying taxes. A fraudster may try to convince you to move your money outside Canada to avoid taxes. If you do, it will be out of the reach of Canadian authorities, which is what the fraudster wants. Read more about offshore investment schemes.

bg-content-sign-04GET IN NOW!

Scam artists use this tactic to pressure you into making a quick decision. In this scheme, a fraudster will suggest they have secret information about a company that the general public doesn’t have. Take your time to research an investment advisor, salesperson, company, and investment before you invest.


Scam artists target religious, ethnic, or close-knit groups by working their way into organizations and befriending members. This approach relies on the trust you place in the people you care about. It’s called Affinity Fraud. Read more about the Affinity Fraud Warning Signs.

Fraud Watch

Every year in BC, thousands of people lose millions of dollars in investment scams. It can happen to anyone, anywhere. Take some time to watch these stories of people who lost their money to an investment scam.

The entire video is about 6.5 minutes long. The video can only be used for personal and non-profit educational purposes. It cannot be used in connection with any offering of commercial services.

Watch the Fraudster Exposed Video Series

The Fraudster Exposed video series can help you recognize, reject, and report investment fraud to the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC). Watch the series to see how a scammer approaches victims, gains their trust, and defrauds investors of their hard-earned money.