The Nova Scotia Securities Commission is making it easier for investors to find out if those latest and greatest investment opportunities are potentially scams.
The commission has a new Investor Alert Database on its website. Investor alerts are published by the commission to warn of unlawful investment raising schemes that the commission learns are being directed at Nova Scotians.
To make it easier for Nova Scotians to learn of investor alerts, the commission’s new Investor Alert Database lists all companies, individuals and websites for which the commission has issued investor alerts since 2014.
“The commission’s leading mandate is to protect investors,” said Heidi Schedler, senior enforcement counsel with the commission. “Issuing investor alerts is a quick and effective way to protect investors by letting Nova Scotians know of schemes targeted at them by fraudsters and scam artists.”
The database is at https://nssc.novascotia.ca/investor-alert-database.
The commission is reminding investors to be cautious when approached or contacted by anyone, or when clicking on online ads offering new investment opportunities. In the last month the commission has issued three investor alerts, warning of companies that are approaching people or advertising without being registered to do so.
The commission is also reminding investors of recent advisories issued by the Canadian Securities Administrators regarding cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings and investing in the cannabis industry.
The investing landscape is ever-changing, especially recently with many new investment opportunities arising, such as cryptocurrencies and the cannabis industry. The commission and the Canadian Securities Administrators have recently issued cautions to investors to be careful and do their due diligence when investing in the next big thing. The increasing popularity and exposure of these opportunities has led to them becoming a popular avenue for fraudsters and scam artists.
“Whenever a new investment gains media exposure you can be sure fraudsters and scam artists are not far behind,” said Ms. Schedler. “We have seen this with cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, BitCoin as well as binary options, gold options and Forex. Investors should exercise extreme caution with these fad type of offers, especially when the parties offering the investments are outside of Canada or are requesting money by wire transfers or by credit cards. Once your funds are transferred, it is near impossible to get your money back.
“An investor’s most effective first line of defence is themselves. We regularly remind investors to check registration and to check the disciplined persons list. This new database adds another tool for investors to use when making informed investment decisions. Taking the time to make informed decisions is key to your investing success.”