You can take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones against investment fraud.
What is investment fraud?
Has someone ever talked to you or e-mailed you about an investment that sounded too good to be true? If they used terms such as “high return”, “no risk” or “one-time opportunity” to describe the investment, it may be a fraud. You can visit the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) website to learn about avoiding fraud.
How you can avoid investment fraud
The most effective means to help avoid investment fraud is to be aware and do your homework. Many fraudsters find their victims by joining social or community groups to build trust. Others prey on friends of friends.
No matter how you came in contact with the individual offering the investment, start by checking to see if they are registered to deal in securities and that they are in good standing. Registered investment advisors are overseen by regulators and are expected to know and comply with all laws and rules related to their business.
If you suspect investment fraud, report it
Contact your provincial or territorial securities commission if you’re suspicious about an investment or think you’ve been a victim of investment fraud.
Securities commissions govern the conduct of advisors who sell and manage investments in their jurisdiction. Security commissions cannot provide legal or financial advice, but can help you find information about investment products and services and advise you on your options if you are concerned that something has gone wrong with an investment.
If you have any concerns or are uncomfortable about any security you are being offered, you can:
- Conduct an internet search on the individual offering the investment and the investment you are being offered.
- Check to see if the individual offering you the investment is registered
- Check for the discipline history of your investment advisor on the enforcement page of the Canadian Securities Administrators
- Call the dealer firm’s Branch Manager to discuss the situation or have your concerns investigated.
Learn more about investment fraud