Jan. 23, 2009
SAINT JOHN (CNB) - Investment scams are real and are a serious concern for Canadian investors, including New Brunswickers. The New Brunswick Securities Commission (NBSC) launched its third Invest in Knowing More media campaign on Jan. 19, asking New Brunswickers to help stop investment fraud.
Fraud exists everywhere. According to the 2007 Canadian Securities Administrators' (CSA) Investor Study: Understanding the Social Impact of Investment Fraud:
Scammers use the telephone or e-mail to try to get their victims' money. So what should someone when approached with a scam?
"Say no, hang up, or do not reply to the e-mail, and call us," said Rick Hancox, executive director of NBSC. "In order to stop investment fraud, we need to know when and where it is happening. We investigate complaints and take action to prevent others from being victimized."
The CSA study found that almost nine of every 10 cases of suspected or actual investment fraud went unreported in Atlantic Canada. The research also showed that those who have been approached or have invested in a fraud are too embarrassed to report it.
"The effects of investment fraud go far beyond the pocket book," said Hancox. "Victims of fraud lose trust in others, see a negative impact on relationships with friends and family, and their health suffers. There is a lot at stake."
Hancox advises people to be wary of high-pressure sales tactics, to take their time to investigate the opportunity, and to consult a trusted professional. If the investment is a long-term opportunity with true gains to be realized, it won't be a one-time-only deal.
Investors should also watch out for these common red flags indicating fraud:
The CSA study and more information on recognizing and avoiding frauds and scams may be found on the NBSC website. If you suspect you have been approached by a scammer, call the commission at 1-866-933-2222. Your call can help stop investment fraud.
The NBSC is the Crown corporation that regulates the securities industry in New Brunswick. It is funded indirectly by investors through industry. Its mandate is to protect investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, and foster fair and efficient capital markets, as well as confidence in those markets.
MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Robichaud, communications officer, 506-643-7045 or 1-866-933-2222, e-mail: Michelle.Robichaud@nbsc-cvmnb.ca.