In a recent study by the Canadian Securities Administrators, 78 per cent of those surveyed said it is important to report suspicious investment offers. But only 26% do. That leaves a lot of scam artists free to go after other victims. Here’s what you can - and should do - if you think you are the target.
- Don’t give out your personal information. Whether by phone or email, you don’t know who’s on the other end or what they’re using the information for.
- Research the investment. You should be concerned if the only information you can find about the company is on their website. If the investment is real, you should be able to verify it with a credible, independent source. For example, you should be able to find press releases on news services, such as Canada NewsWire at www.newswire.ca.
- Check the person or company’s registration. Anyone selling securities, offering investment advice or managing an investment fund in Ontario must register with the Ontario Securities Commission, unless they have an exemption. Registration tells you what products and services a firm or individual can offer. Firms and individuals are registered by category – each category has different requirements and permits different activities. The only way to know for sure if they’re qualified is to check their registration. Check registration now.
- Check the investor warning list posted by the OSC. It names the companies that the OSC has flagged because they may pose a risk to investors. Check the investor warning list.
- Report investment scams. Call or email the Ontario Securities Commission with a question, tip or complaint.
Content in this section is provided in partnership with the Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization promoting financial literacy to Canadians. To find out more go to GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.