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The national registration search contains the names of all individuals and firms who are registered to sell securities in Canada, with the exception of those registered solely with the Ontario Securities Commision (OSC).

ASC ExternalSite > Investors > Investor Resources > You ASC'd Blog > Posts > Don’t get fooled again – avoid falling victim to investment fraud more than once (part one of a two-part series)

August 04
Don’t get fooled again – avoid falling victim to investment fraud more than once (part one of a two-part series)

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice… perhaps it’s not a coincidence, or bad luck - maybe I am on a “sucker list?” One reason why investors become victim to multiple scams is because if they have invested in one fraudulent opportunity, they will likely be added to what is known as a “sucker list” and targeted again. These lists, which include names, addresses, phone numbers and other information are created, bought, and sold by fraudsters. The databases are considered invaluable to scam artists because they know that consumers who have been tricked once are vulnerable to being tricked again.

Below are a few easy tips to avoid investment scams and having your name added to a “sucker list.”

  • Delete random emails about “your latest windfall.” You haven't won the lottery or inherited a fortune, so don't respond to these types of emails. If you do, the scammer(s) who sent it can detect that your email address is in use and think you are open to receiving information on their latest scheme, and they may continue to aggressively contact you.
  • Hang up on cold calls about a “great opportunity.” Scammers will not hesitate to exploit the good manners of a potential victim. If you get a call from a stranger offering you an investment opportunity - hang up the phone.
  • Find out who is conducting a survey before you participate. Do you know who is really contacting you? Scammers use fake surveys to gather information about potential victims, and use that information to develop a “perfect” investment opportunity to pitch to you later on.
  • Check First. Before you part ways with your money, visit the ASC’s consumer website CheckFirst.ca to do a background check on the individual and company involved in the investment. There, you can check registration and see if a decision, proceeding or order has been filed against the person or company.

If you receive a cold call or see an online advertisement that is promoting a “too good to be true” investment opportunity, proceed with caution. . You might save yourself from becoming an investment fraud victim and ending up on a “sucker list” somewhere. Check back for our next post, which will explore another way scammers attempt to re-target previous victims of fraud.

Helpful links

Check First

Recognizing a scam

Recognizing and avoiding scams in 2016