by Greg Klein | March 6, 2017
Not for the first time, the British Columbia Securities Commission marks Fraud Awareness Month with a short musical. I’m Comin’ to Rip You Off features an old school song-and-dance man with a timeless lack of morals and a modern approach to parting people from their money. The video’s message: Always conduct a background check on any investment adviser before you invest.
How? The BCSC outlines four basic steps:
- Check professional registration status at aretheyregistered.ca
- Search the adviser on disciplinary history
- Search the Internet. A simple web search might reveal useful information about an adviser
- Interview the adviser. Make sure that individual is a good fit for you
The BCSC’s awareness videos comprise a strategy of InvestRight, the commission’s investor education program. Last year the BCSC filmed a two-minute musical live in a Victoria coffee shop, much to the surprise of customers.
Other BCSC online resources include the Fraudster Fighter Tool Kit.
But investment fraud is anything but entertaining. We know that it ruins lives—an important reminder for investors to protect themselves.—Pamela McDonald, BCSC director
of communications and education
I’m Comin’ to Rip You Off “is entertaining in the way it shows how a fraudster thinks,” said Pamela McDonald, BCSC director of communications and education. “But investment fraud is anything but entertaining. We know that it ruins lives—an important reminder for investors to protect themselves.”
One ruined life was related in a March 5 Toronto Sun story. An offshore binary options fraud stole $300,000 from an Edmonton man, leading to his suicide four days before Christmas. Last week the Canadian Securities Administrators renewed its public warning about the scam, “a leading type of investment fraud facing Canadians today.” In response the CSA has created a Binary Options Task Force and a public awareness website.
“We want Canadians to know that there are no registered individuals or firms permitted to trade these products in Canada,” stated task force chairperson Jason Roy. “We are seeing families of every demographic being affected by financial losses due to binary options trading. We want Canadians to understand the financial dangers associated with these products.”