That high-return investment opportunity you heard about could be a scam. Protect yourself (and your life-savings) from investment scams with these tips.
Investment fraud red flags
Investment scams are high risk and usually result in significant financial losses. Investment scams can play out in several different ways. You could be approached about an investment on social media, by email, or even through an unsuspecting friend who doesn’t know they’ve been duped. The BC Securities Commission says that the major red flags that you’re dealing with a investment scammer are:
- They make you feel like you will “miss out” if you don’t accept the offer. They may make it sound like their offer is making others rich while you sit on the sidelines..
- They try to hook you with promises of higher-than normal investment returns.
- The trust trap. Sometimes, a friend may promote a fraudulent investment without even realizing it.
- They rush you. If you ever feel you’re being rushed, remember it’s okay to say no.
- They avoid answering questions. They may dismiss your questions or provide answers that are overcomplicated, inconsistent, and filled with jargon. If you can’t get your questions answered, walk away.
How to avoid getting duped
- Get investment advice from trusted sources
- Ask questions
- Understand the risks
- Consider getting a second opinion
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Report investment fraud
The BC Securities Commission says that one of the ways you can protect yourself and your loved ones when doing research about an investment, is to remember the three R’s – Recognize, Reject, and Report. You can report any suspicious activity to the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) anonymously using the Report a Concern form or by contacting BCSC Inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About Consumer Protection BC
We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.