Red flags and what to do
Scam artists are cunning and use many tactics to take people’s hard-earned money. Don’t be fooled by promises of great returns and limited or no risk.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- High returns on a low-risk investment.
- Secret, “this is only available for you” sales pitch.
- Investments that must be made urgently.
- Being asked to send money out of province or overseas.
- Unsolicited telephone calls or mail and unannounced visits.
- Free gifts and favours, such as a dinner or a trip.
- The claim that "tomorrow will be too late".
- The "newest invention" sales pitch.
- "I got in on the ground floor ahead of everyone," claim.
- "You do not need it in writing” statements.
- A stranger asking for personal financial information.
What you can do:
- Check the registration of the person or company selling or advising about securities or derivatives. The CSA National Registration Search is a simple and free tool for investors to use to check registrations.
- Check the disciplinary history for the person or company, to find out if they have broken regulatory rules in the past. It is easy to do, using the Canadian Securities Administrators Cease Trade Orders database and the list of disciplined people and companies.
- Know exactly what you are investing in.
- Take time to research the investment, and see if it actually exists.
- Do not feel pressured to make quick decisions.
- Never send money overseas to people you do not know.
- Ignore spam emails or calls.
- Be suspicious of free products or gimmicks.
- Make sure you understand how the investment, product or service works.
- Get a second opinion, seek professional advice about the investment.
- Never accept a verbal agreement, get it in writing.
- Never give out your personal information to strangers.
Call the securities division
If you have questions or concerns about investments, you can contact FCAA at 306-787-5645.