Did you know that over $530,000,000 of Canadian dollars were lost to fraud in 2022 alone? Fraud occurs every day in Canada, with many occurrences going undetected or unreported – in fact, only 5 to 10 per cent of cases are reported. This means that the number of Canadian dollars lost to fraud is realistically much higher than this statistic.
March is Fraud Prevention Month, so let’s talk about what you can do to protect yourself and your investments.
Know the Signs of Investment Fraud
The tricky thing with scams is that, well – they’re scams. They’re meant to deceive you into giving up personal details or convince you of an opportunity in a way that is convincing and seemingly legitimate. This can make detecting scams difficult; however, there are a few telltale signs of investment fraud to look out for:
- You feel pressured to invest without being given proper information. Scammers will often use high-pressure sales tactics to get you to invest quickly without the time to think clearly and notice illegitimacies. If you’re asked to make a decision under pressure, it’s likely not in your best interests.
- The investment opportunity feels too good to be true. That’s because it probably is. Generally speaking, high-risk investments offer higher potential returns, and low-risk investments offer lower returns, with no guarantee that you will actually make any money. Investments considered low-risk typically have returns similar to GIC rates. If your expected return is higher than this, you’re taking more risk with your money than a scammer may lead you to believe.
- Unregistered sellers. In order to sell securities or investment advice, sellers must be registered with their provincial securities regulator.
To learn more about the signs of investment fraud, read more information provided by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).
Protect Your Assets
As Canadians, we have the ability to reduce the amount of money going into scammer’s pockets – it’s all about knowing how to protect yourself when a scam comes our way.
Here are some tips to protect yourself:
- Get a second opinion. RaeLipskie’s team of financial experts are happy to provide a second opinion on potential investments.
- Check the seller’s registration. To check if they are registered, you can search through the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) here.
- Take your time choosing investments. There is no reason to feel rushed into investing.
- Research. It’s important to fully vet the opportunity before investing in it.
- Check investor alerts. The OSC posts alerts here for known scams in your area.
For more information on how to protect your assets, continue reading this resource from the Ontario Securities Commission.
Investing always comes with relative risk. Fraud, however, shouldn’t be included in the risk of investment. At RaeLipskie, we don’t wait for scammers to come to us – we help you proactively source investment opportunities that best meet your financial goals. Working with a team of experts, we take away the burden of worrying about becoming a victim of investment fraud.
To continue learning how to protect yourself from fraud including how scammers may approach you, scamming tactics, and how to report fraud, visit the Ontario Securities Commission website at getsmarteraboutyourmoney.ca.
If you are interested in learning more about how RaeLipskie can help you source investment opportunities and bypass worries of fraud, book an appointment with one of our advisors today! Contact The RaeLipskie Partnership here.