Fraudsters prey on the insecurities of investors who are looking for a place to protect their savings in these troubled times, or to make up for the losses they’ve already taken. But in your hurry to protect what’s left, or make it all back, don’t be dazzled by promises of high rates of return. Take some time to do your homework before making a sudden move with your investment portfolio that could cost you your life savings.
The ASC offers these tips to help investors avoid possible investment scams:
- Ignore promises of “guaranteed” high returns with little or no risk: There is no such thing. The higher the returns, the higher the level of risk. Make sure the opportunity is suitable for your risk tolerance and investment goals.
- Be wary of the latest trend: Scam artists will build their investment scheme around the latest trends in the news such as gold, green technology or oil and gas exploration to capitalize on what is top of mind for investors. If you don’t understand what the investment is about, get clarification in writing as part of your research into the opportunity.
- Check registration: Ask the person offering you the investment if they are registered. Individuals selling securities are required to be registered with the ASC. You can confirm registration on the ASC website, call toll-free (1-877-355-4488) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Check enforcement history: Use the resources of the ASC at www.albertasecurities.com to look up current or previous enforcement proceedings and see if there is any disciplinary history for an individual or company offering you an investment.
- Resist blindly following friends and family. One out of every five Canadians is introduced to investment fraud by family, friends or co-workers. Regardless of the source of the recommendation or the success they have had with that investment, do your homework and check the investment yourself.
- Get third-party advice: Take some time to consult with a person who is not participating in the investment, such as a lawyer, banker, accountant, financial adviser or someone else with business knowledge before deciding to invest. Don’t feel pressured to hand over your money until you’ve had some time to carefully consider the investment.
For more information, visit the “For Investors” section of the ASC website (www.albertasecurites.com), which provides investors tools and resources to help them “Check First” before investing.
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About this Blog
We’ve created this blog to present you with answers to some of the more popular questions we receive from investors. We'll have different subject matter experts blogging about what they know best and we'll update it as new blogs arise. We hope you'll find it interesting and helpful.
Hi, I’m Tamera Van Brunt and I’ve been the ASC’s Director of Communication and Investor Education for five years now. Our goal is to provide people with information to help them make their investment decisions and to protect them from investment fraud. I hope you will find our investor education resources useful and please, share them with friends and family so they too can benefit from the information.
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