Protecting Your Finances: How To Avoid Investment Frauds and Scams

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Protecting personal finances requires knowledge and education. Investment fraud is a huge industry and you should beware.
Personal Finance Protection

(NC) - Each year in June, Seniors Month is celebrated across the province. The Ontario Securities Commission participates by offering seminars across the province to raise awareness of the warning signs of fraud. But seniors are not the only vulnerable group, all consumers can benefit from these messages.

Investment fraud is a billion dollar industry in Canada. Scams are constantly evolving, and scam artists work to gain your trust to make it easier to take your money. Additionally, your lifestyle may increase your chances of being approached by a scam artist. If you live on a fixed income you are more vulnerable to changes in interest rates, and con artists will seek you out when interest rates are low. Here are some tips to protect your money.

Educate yourself about the warning signs of fraud.

Always get a written agreement, and read and understand anything you sign.

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Get a second opinion on the investment opportunity from a credible source.

Check the registration of the person offering you the investment with your securities regulator.

Take your time - don't allow your emotions to take control of your money.

To learn more about how to avoid investment frauds and scams, see the Canadian Securities Administrators brochure Protecting Your Finances. Consult the 2005 Fraud Free Calendar to stay current on fraud awareness issues. To order free copies of these publications or to report suspected investment fraud, call the Ontario Securities Commission toll free at 1-877-785-1555.

This page is updated on May 5, 2013.

Reported by News Canada

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