It seems like not a day passes when we hear about the next best investment with “guaranteed high returns” or “tax free offshore investments”. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) shared various resources to help investors understand and tackle typical financial scams, including brochures released by the the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA).
As an example, common scams described in the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA)’s Protect your money brochure include promises on exempt securities, forex, offshore investment, tax-free retirement accounts, and the so-called “pump and dump” scheme.
This document also highlights how scammers may approach investors, generally taking advantage of trust, appearance of legitimacy and expertise, and using diverse communication tools such as phone calls, e-mail and fake websites. Commonly, scammers use high-pressure tactics like repeated contact or limited-time offers.
Some investors, like individuals over fifty years old may be targeted particularly because they have had more time to build assets and have more savings put aside. Moreover, at this age, there may be a sense of urgency to grow investments before retirement.
However, don’t be fooled, everyone is vulnerable to fraud, whatever your age or size of investment portfolio.