CALGARY – March 27, 2020 –The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) is warning Alberta investors about potentially fraudulent ads by companies offering opportunities to work from home as traders in the financial markets during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Typically claiming to train you on trading stocks or forex, the ads state that traders can keep a large percentage of the profits, and they don’t need experience or a licence; however, the firms demand payment of fees from would-be traders, and the ASC believes neither the firms nor fees are legitimate.
Day trading on the stock or foreign exchange markets is inherently high-risk and usually requires professional training and advanced software. The extreme volatility of current market conditions compounds the level of difficulty in achieving the high returns the ads claim.
In Canada, anyone in the business of trading securities must be registered with the securities regulator in each province or territory where they do business, unless an exemption applies. To become registered, individuals need to meet minimum proficiency standards.
The ASC expects that similar scams will continue to increase as more Canadians are looking for alternative sources of income due to layoffs or requirements to stay home during the COVID-19 crisis.
Anyone who has information about these schemes is urged to contact the ASC at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 403-355-4151 (toll-free 1-877-355-4488).
The ASC, as part of the Canadian Securities Administrators, is also warning investors about companies claiming to have products or services that will prevent, detect or cure COVID-19. At this time, there is no vaccine or natural health product that is authorized to treat or protect against COVID-19.
More information about the ASC’s response to the COVID-19 crisis is available here.
The ASC urges the public to familiarize themselves with some common red flags of investing and other resources available at its investor focused website, checkfirst.ca.
The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the province’s securities laws. It is entrusted with fostering a fair and efficient capital market in Alberta and with protecting investors. As a member of the Canadian Securities Administrators, the ASC works to improve, coordinate and harmonize the regulation of Canada’s capital markets.
Source: Alberta Securities Commission