Investor Fraud Month – March 2018

20 Mar

Investor Fraud Protection and red flags (I don’t mean the maple leaf)…

a red waving flag

The 2018 Winter Olympics are over and we’ll see less of our beautiful flag on TV for a while. Here are some other red flags to watch out for during Investor Fraud Prevention month, March 2018.

Even if you are savvy enough to avoid investor fraud yourself, please pass on these tips to anyone you might have concerns about.

 

Do you know anyone in financial difficulty, dire straits or seniors? These people are particularly vulnerable to scam artists.

There’s no free lunch! Are you being offered low-risk investments with high returns? Any investment that looks too good to be true probably is. High returns are normally an indication that the investment is high risk, not low. And beware of “guaranteed returns”; few investments can offer guaranteed returns.

Hot tips = hot potatoes. If someone offers you a “hot tip” or “insider information”, stop to consider why. They may be trying to trick you into believing they have special knowledge or information which you later find out is not actually true. In any case, even if the insider information is true, you can be penalized for acting on it. Either way, you lose. Securities regulators try to keep the market fair for all by suppressing this kind of insider information.

Pressure cooker? Are you being urged to make a quick decision? Investing your money is serious business, and decisions should always be done with time and consideration. Scam artists don’t want to give you enough time to figure out their game. Don’t make time for a limited time offer.

Exclusive offers for wealthy people. Be wary of investments that are allegedly intended for the super rich but are being offered to you, Mr. or Mrs. Average Investor. Suppress the belief that you can become rich quick. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Are there research and disclosure documents paper to support the investment? Most investments require the advisor to provide background information which you can verify on line. No paper, no receipts are likely signs of fraud.

Make sure the advisor is legitimate and registered with their provincial regulators. You should always check the registration and background of the person offering you the investment. To check registration, visit CheckBeforeYouInvest.ca.

There are a number of planned educational opportunities to help investors recognize scams during Fraud Prevention Month. The following link showcases some local events:http://www.osc.gov.on.ca/en/NewsEvents_speeches-events_index.htm#56207-event.

Keep your guard up at all times and don’t get cheated out of your hard-earned money. Take your time before agreeing to invest in anything. Contact me at any time for more information.

It’s just good advice!