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Affinity Fraud Warning Signs

Affinity fraud refers to investment scams that target groups – clubs, associations, ethnic communities, or religious organizations.

Look Out for These Affinity Fraud Warning Signs

  • Someone offers you “faith-based” investments exclusive to your religious group or organization.
  • You are told religious-based investments are not regulated.
  • An unregistered advisor or promoter claims affiliation to a certain faith or religious organization.
  • You are told not to seek independent advice about an investment or an advisor.
  • A new person to your group is pushing a high-return, no-risk investment opportunity.
  • Influential people in your group or organization are working with a person to promote an investment.
  • Someone new to your group is name dropping or courting influential people to help them attract investors.

Watch Out for Friends or Family Members

You can help stop an affinity fraud (or any investment fraud) by recognizing how it affects individuals – friends, family members, or people you associate with on a regular basis. Here’s what to look for:

  • A new friend or caregiver enters a person’s life and starts to advise on financial matters and investments.
  • A friend, family member, or caregiver is putting pressure on a person to give them money or make an investment.
  • Someone you know suddenly avoids social functions or group events.
  • Friends and family tell you that a person you all know is avoiding them for financial reasons.
  • Someone you know fails to take care of themself or keep up their home.
  • You notice a friend or family member suddenly becomes concerned about money or their financial situation.

Learn More About Investment Fraud

Recognize, Reject, & Report Investment Fraud

In British Columbia, contact the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) Inquiries. You can report suspicious activity anonymously through the BCSC’s online complaint form page. Residents from other Canadian provinces can find contact information for their provincial securities regulator at www.securities-administrators.ca.