And just like that, it’s the end of the year!
2021 has been a mixed bag between the COVID-19 pandemic remaining one of the major themes for investors, and fraudsters showing no signs of slowing down their activity.
Throughout the year, we’ve launched resources and tools to help investors navigate the impact of global events and new investing trends in more informed ways.
From running a fraud prevention campaign to demystifying the crypto asset universe to launching a new educational video series – we’ve compiled a look back at BCSC InvestRight’s top investor education initiatives in 2021. Let’s recap it together!
Multilingual Introduction to Investing Web Page
We kicked off 2021 with the launch of a new multilingual web page on InvestRight.org to help people who are new to Canada, as well as those whose first language is not English, navigate investing in British Columbia.
The web page goes through the investing basics and offers helpful information on how to protect yourself against investment fraud.
The page is available in seven languages to make it more accessible. We welcome you to share it with anyone who might benefit from this information.
Fraud Awareness & Prevention Resources
Investment fraud has evolved and become more common in the digital world. In 2021, we noticed fraudsters using more sophisticated tactics to target both new and experienced investors. These schemes are being peddled on social media, trying to lure younger adults prone to FOMO (“fear of missing out”) into scams.
To help people protect themselves from investment fraud, we’ve ramped up our educational activities by:
- delivering digital campaigns to help investors avoid classifieds scams
- sharing timely and interactive Investor Alerts
- encouraging people to take our free fraud email course
In March 2021, the BCSC organized a multi-media campaign called Hi, My Name is FOMO to educate people about the risk of letting FOMO drive their investment decisions. Through outreach, educational resources, and engagement opportunities, the campaign aimed to help British Columbians understand the importance of doing research before investing and encouraged them to report suspected fraud to the BCSC.
Navigating the Crypto Universe
Your Guide to Crypto Assets
Crypto assets have gained more attention from individual and institutional investors. You may have heard people discussing buying and trading cryptocurrencies, and you may have been wondering what they are or how they work.
To help you better understand crypto assets, we’ve written a guide that explains the basics, including how crypto assets are bought and sold, and the risks that come along with investing in them.
Featured Investor Warning: Protect Yourself From Online Crypto and Forex Schemes
As the popularity and price of cryptocurrencies rose, unfortunately, so did the scams associated with these digital assets. In 2020, the BCSC’s Enforcement Division discovered a large number of websites targeting investors with pre-set cryptocurrency or forex packages that feature common fraud warning signs, like unrealistic returns.
This year, we published another Investor Warning letting you know that people behind these websites are using more sophisticated tactics to try and rope investors into their schemes.
There is a lot of confusion surrounding crypto assets. Since buying and trading digital coins can be risky and crypto-related fraud is on the rise in Canada, we released a new tool that can help you become better-informed about this emerging market.
The Crypto Quiz can help test your understanding and improve your general knowledge of digital ledgers, cryptocurrencies, and other crypto assets.
Elder Financial Abuse Campaign
In the lead-up to World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2021, we ran a digital campaign highlighting the issue of elder financial abuse and asking you to help us #RejectFinancialAbuse.
Elder financial abuse is the most common form of elder abuse in Canada. It can have devastating financial and emotional impacts but isn’t always easy to recognize.
A new 2021 survey by the Canadian Securities Administrators’ (CSA) found nearly 31 per cent of British Columbians know a victim of financial elder abuse, while 50 per cent said they could not recognize the signs of financial abuse and only 42 per cent knew where to report cases of abuse.
The 2021 campaign featured a live digital panel that we organized in partnership with the Vancouver Island Regional Library and the Office of the Seniors Advocate. The panel, along with the following resources can help you better understand what elder financial abuse can look like and how to protect the people you love.
- Elder Financial Abuse: Protect Yourself and Those You Love
- How to Start a Conversation About Elder Financial Abuse
Investor Readiness Quiz
Being an informed investor is one of your best defenses against investment fraud. This year during Investor Education Month, we introduced a new quiz, which tests foundational concepts of investing while encouraging learning through interactive questions and answers.
The ten-question Investor Readiness Quiz can help you feel more confident about your investment knowledge and get a better understanding of learning areas to target.
Get Started with Investing: Deepen Your Knowledge
One of our biggest and most anticipated projects of the year was the launch of our new, free online video resource to help investors become more educated about important investment topics.
The video series, Get Started with Investing: Deepen Your Knowledge, is an unbiased source of information featuring a series of 11 educational videos, plus interactive tools and articles.
It’s the second installment of the Get Started with Investing series and can help you take your learning to the next level. Have you had the chance to explore it yet?
Heading into the new year, we look forward to supplying you with more unbiased tools and information to help you along your investing journey!
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 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.