Fraud Warning Signs

If an investment you're interested has the characteristics of one of the five warning signs below—it’s okay to say ‘no’.

1No risk!

There’s no such thing as a guaranteed investment: the higher the returns, the higher the risk. This type of sales pitch is often aimed at people who live on a fixed income or those near or in early retirement who are worried about having enough money.

2Profit like the pros!

These scams are pitched as opportunities known only to a select few who are said to be making a lot of money. The scam artist convinces you that he or she has access to this inside information or special advisors. An example of this is the ‘prime bank’ scam.

3Offshore, tax free!

Fraudsters pitch this scheme as a way to avoid paying taxes. A fraudster may try to convince you to move your money outside Canada to avoid taxes. If you do, it will be out of the reach of Canadian authorities, which is what the fraudster wants. Read more about offshore investment schemes.

4Get in now!

Scam artists use this tactic to pressure you into making a quick decision. In this scheme, a fraudster will suggest that they have secret information about a company that the general public doesn’t have. Take your time to research an investment advisor, salesperson, company, and investment before you invest.

5Your friends and family can’t be wrong!

Scam artists target religious, ethnic, or close-knit groups by working their way into organizations and befriending members. This approach relies on the trust you place in the people you care about. It’s called Affinity Fraud. Read more about the Affinity Fraud Warning Signs.

Fraud Watch

Every year in BC, thousands of people lose millions of dollars in investment scams. They can happen to anyone, anywhere. Take some time to watch these stories of people who lost their money to an investment scam.

The entire video is about 6.5 minutes long. The video can only be used for personal and non-profit educational purposes. It cannot be used in connection with any offering of commercial services.

More Fraud Watch Videos

The BCSC produces videos, podcasts, and advertisements to help people make informed decisions when they are considering investing. Visit the BCSC InvestRight YouTube channel to view our full video collection.

Other Resources