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BCSC wants investors to know how, and why, to conduct a background check

2017/26
March 6, 2017

Vancouver - This Fraud Prevention Month, the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) wants B.C. investors to learn how to conduct a background check on their investment advisor, and why it's important to do that, before they invest.

To illustrate why, the BCSC has launched a music video featuring a fictional fraudster crooner who sings the warning signs of investment fraud in a song called I'm Comin' to Rip You Off.

"The 'Fraudster Crooner' video is entertaining in the way it shows how a fraudster thinks," said Pamela McDonald, Director of Communications and Education at the BCSC. "But investment fraud is anything but entertaining. We know that it ruins lives - an important reminder for investors to protect themselves."

To show investors how to conduct a background check and take other steps to protect themselves, the BCSC offers a full kit of investor protection tools on its investor education website, investright.org/FPM-2017.

The Fraud Prevention Month page includes links to the warning signs of investment fraud; the BCSC's Fraudster Fighter Toolkit; an instructional video showing how to recognize, reject, and report investment fraud; and links to the BCSC's many investment fraud videos.

"In many cases, investors who have fallen for a fraudulent investment could have protected themselves if they had conducted a background check first," said McDonald. "The first step is to see if the person selling the investment is legally permitted to do so."

In order to sell or advise on investments in B.C., a person or firm must be registered with the BCSC. Registration helps protect investors because the BCSC only registers people and firms who are properly qualified and comply with investor protection laws.

Research conducted by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) in 2016 showed one of the main reasons investors don't check registration is because they don't know how.1        

The BCSC recommends investors conduct a background check by taking the following four steps:

  • Check registration. You can check professional registration status at aretheyregistered.ca
  • Check disciplinary history to see if an individual has ever been disciplined for bad practices.
  • Search the internet. A simple web search may turn up information on an individual that exposes past wrongdoings or bad practices.
  • Interview the advisor to make sure that he or she is a good fit for you.

For more information on how to protect yourself from investment fraud, visit BCSC InvestRight's Fraud Prevention Month page at investright.org/FPM-2017.

1Source: 2016 CSA Investor Education Study

About the British Columbia Securities Commission (www.bcsc.bc.ca)

The British Columbia Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating capital markets in British Columbia through the administration of the Securities Act. Our mission is to protect and promote the public interest by fostering:

  • A securities market that is fair and warrants public confidence
  • A dynamic and competitive securities industry that provides investment opportunities and access to capital

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Media Contact:
Alison Walker 
604-899-6713 

Public inquiries:
604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 (toll free)
inquiries@bcsc.bc.ca

Learn how to protect yourself and become a more informed investor at www.investright.org


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