Did you know that 30 per cent of Canadians who come across investment opportunities on their own, find out about them through the internet? As well, email is one of the most common ways that Canadians are approached with investment fraud.
March is Fraud Prevention Month and the ASC and other securities regulators want investors to know the signs of online investment scams. That’s why we’re running a public awareness campaign aimed at online investors that includes online advertisements and social media promotions all pointing to the website of a fictitious company, BlueHedge Investments. The campaign was designed to show how scam artists use online tools to lure unsuspecting investors.
Those who land on the fictitious company's website (www.BlueHedge.ca) and try to enter any personal information or click to 'Invest Now' are redirected to an educational website (www.BlueHedgeIsntReal.ca) with tools and information about recognizing, avoiding and reporting investment scams they might find online or via social media.
Here’s what you can do to help us spread the word throughout March for Fraud Prevention Month:
1. Check out the BlueHedge pitch yourself and see if you can spot the red flags. Be sure to click ‘Invest Now’ at some point.
2. View samples of the BlueHedge online ads, email, Facebook and Twitter profiles.
3. Be a part of the campaign and warn your family and friends about online investment scams by:
- Retweeting @ASCUpdate tweets, or sharing our ASC Facebook posts about the campaign (there will be several throughout the month).
- Using the ‘Warn a Friend’ feature if you have a Facebook or Twitter account.
- Sending out your own message or email with links to the websites such as this:
- 9% returns, guaranteed no risk? No way. Find out more #BlueHedge bluehedgeisntreal.ca
- Don’t let this fool you. Make sure you click on ‘Invest Now’ #BlueHedge bluehedge.ca
- You can always send a follow-up message if people think you are really promoting a real scam:
Understanding a fake fraud may help avoid becoming the victim of a real one – check out BlueHedge for yourself, and encourage loved ones to do the same. If you have any comments or questions about the campaign, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.