We’ve all heard the phrase “there’s no such thing as a free lunch,” meaning that it’s impossible to get something for nothing. But what does that mean when it comes to investing?
It means that securing a bright financial future isn’t easy, and that it’s important to do enough research and due diligence to reduce the chance that the next investment you make is fraudulent. One in three Albertans report being approached with a possible fraudulent investment. Do you know what to do if it happens to you?
In conjunction with Fraud Prevention Month in March, the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) has developed a campaign to educate the public with three key steps anyone can take to decrease their chances of becoming a victim of investment fraud: Check. Protect. Invest.
- Check registration of the firm or individual offering the investment;
- Protect your hard-earned money by asking the right questions and understanding the potential risks involved;
- Only after these steps should you take the third step – to invest.
Here’s how we’ve been getting the word out:
- One new website, Checkfirst.ca that educates Albertans about their potential risk for investment fraud.
- Two ASC #freelunch events in partnership with local food trucks during March.
- Three quiz questions on that site to help Albertans assess if they are at risk.
- Eight hockey games in Calgary and Edmonton, where fans can see our message lit up on the scoreboards.
- 15 seconds that Cineplex viewers (in Fort McMurray, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Red Deer) and elevator riders In Calgary and Edmonton will see the Check.Protect.Invest message.
- 16 street patrollers helping spread the word to downtown Calgarians and Edmontonians.
- 20 light-up posters catching the eye of Edmonton pedway users.
- 29 days that visitors to the Google network and BNN.ca websites can see ASC on-line ads.
- 99 communities throughout Alberta that will hear the ASC’s radio ad.
- 489 tables in the downtown Calgary mall informing lunch-goers to Check.Protect.Invest.
- 1,000 sandwiches served up to Albertans.
What does this all amount to? The ASC’s latest public awareness campaign - in support of the initiative, the ASC held two #freelunch events on March 12 (Calgary) and 19 (Edmonton) where we offered Albertans a “free” sandwich. But no lunch is free – including ours. In return, we are asking Albertans to take a few moments of their day to visit the Checkfirst.ca website and learn what they can do to help protect their financial future by avoiding investment fraud.
While Fraud Prevention Month runs during March, the ASC is available year-round to educate Albertans about making informed investment choices at www.albertasecurities.com.
Scenes from our Calgary and Edmonton #freelunch events