Slick promotional materials with fine-print risk disclosures fully setting forth the investment’s profit potential and risks seek to impress potential investors.
Many advance fee fraud schemes include ponzi schemes posing as investments, and the West African fraud letter which often comes by way of spam email.
One or more of the following items characterize the questionable scheme:
-Confidentiality agreements which you are asked to sign to ensure you will not speak to “anyone” in particular industry regulators, about this “exclusive plan”.
-Your personal contact information including banking information is solicited up front.
-Characterized by promises of above-average or unrealistic returns or guarantees within a short period of time (e.g. 20% return per month), completely risk free.
-Legal-looking documents using technical language in an attempt to convince investors their investments are legitimate.
How can you avoid this scam?
-Be highly skeptical of unsolicited phone calls offering investments.
-Research every investment opportunity and consult a knowledgeable person you trust.
-Contact your provincial Securities Commission and inquire if the seller is licensed.
-Do not cash in RRSP monies for investment purposes until you have talked to a tax consultant or accountant.
-Do not be rushed by high pressure solicitations.
-If you wish to invest in off shore or risky investments, only do so through a reputable licensed broker.
-Finally, ask this question: “Can you afford to lose the money you might invest. … if not, do not.”
If you suspect or are a victim of a fraudulent investment report it to the Nova Scotia Securities Commission or your local police.
FRAUD. Recognize It ! Report It ! Stop It !