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Securities Commission warns residents of investment fraud

By: By Jessica Patterson

  |  Posted: Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 01:28 pm

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The Alberta Securities Commission is reminding Airdrie residents of an old adage when thinking about making investments - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

“The slogan of our campaign this month is check, protect, invest,” said Alison Trollope, director of communications and investor education at the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC).

“Those are the three steps we would like Albertans to take when approaching a new investment.”

Investment fraud costs Albertans each year, though the number is difficult to determine, as many don’t report it, according to the ASC.

A 2012 Canadian Securities Administrators investor index indicated that one in three Albertans believe they’ve been approached to take part in a fraudulent investment, Trollope said.

The first step when approaching a new investment, is to check that the person or firm is registered to sell investments or offer investment advice in the province, Trollope said.

“The second step is for investors to protect their hard-earned money by being informed,” she said.

“By having an understanding of the investment they’re making, of the risks and rewards to do with that investment and that they’re fully confident in the person they’re dealing with.”

Only after conducting the research and developing a robust background knowledge of the investment, should investors go ahead with their investment, Trollope said.

The ASC campaign will focus on educating the public about key steps people can take to decrease their chances of becoming a victim of investment fraud.

Investment fraud happens when people are approached by scam artists to invest in something that isn’t a real investment, said Trollope.

“For example, they could be offering shares in a company that doesn’t exist or doesn’t have the assets it says it does,” she said.

“It could be an investment that isn’t registered in Alberta, and it can happen in a bunch of different situations, like online fraud, or affinity fraud, where groups you’re part of, a religious community or business group and they approach members of that group to invest.”

For more information contact Alberta Securities Commission at 1-877-355-4488.


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