Cryptocurrencies are in demand right now, but investors need to be careful.
The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) says that Saskatchewan has seen an increase in fraudulent investment opportunities involving cryptocurrencies.
According to the FCAA, fraudsters use various techniques to lure in potential investors.
Such methods include:
- online ads highlighting high returns and low risk;
- pop-up ads that promote cryptocurrency giveaways or include fake customer reviews;
- recommendations on social media that seem to come from "a friend"; and
- private messages on social media sites from fake profiles that look legitimate.
Because cryptocurrency is very complicated, investors may find themselves in a situation where they are not sure about an investment opportunity. Thus, the FCAA offers these warning signs of fraudulent investments:
- promises of high returns;
- guaranteed risk-free — fraudsters lure you in with the promise of a zero-risk investment;
- high-pressure sales tactics; and
- use of complex documents and technical jargon.
You can protect yourself by doing your research, checking to see if the person or business is registered and crosscheck their details with the Canadian Securities Administrators National Registration You can also check if they have broken regulatory rules in the past using the Canadian Securities Administrators Cease Trade Orders.
Always seek professional advice before investing in a product or service. Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you have discovered a fraudulent investment opportunity, you can report the scam to the FCAA Securities Division at firstname.lastname@example.org or 306-787-5936.