Canadian Securities Administrators

Canadian Securities Administrators

October 20, 2015 11:00 ET

Investor Alert: Canadian Securities Regulators Issue Warning About Messaging Applications Being Used to Entice Investors

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Oct. 20, 2015) - The securities regulatory authorities in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan are warning the public about fraudulent stock promotions that use popular smart phone messaging applications like WhatsApp to generate investor interest.

Like other "pump-and-dump" schemes that seek to create artificial interest in a particular stock, these promotions use spam to talk up the benefits of a company and convince people to invest. What investors don't know is that the person or company touting the stock owns a large amount of it. As more and more investors buy shares, the value skyrockets. Once the price hits a peak, the scam artist sells their shares and the value of the stock plummets. Investors are left holding worthless shares.

Investors, and in particular users of messaging applications, should ignore any promotional spam they receive and report it to their provincial or territorial securities regulatory authority. For more information on how to spot and avoid investment fraud on the Internet, please visit the Canadian Securities Regulators (CSA) here.

Investors are also encouraged to visit securities-administrators.ca for more information and resources on understanding investments and recognizing fraud. @CSA_News will also be sharing tips and links throughout Investor Education Month.

The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada's provinces and territories, co-ordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets.

Contact Information

  • Richard Gilhooley
    British Columbia Securities Commission
    604-899-6713

    Sylvain Theberge
    Autorite des marches financiers
    514-940-2176

    Andrew Nicholson
    Financial and Consumer Services
    Commission, New Brunswick
    506-658-3021

    Tanya Wiltshire
    Nova Scotia Securities Commission
    902-424-8586

    John O'Brien
    Superintendent of Insurance
    Office of the Superintendent of Securities
    Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
    709-729-4909

    Kristen Rose
    Ontario Securities Commission
    416-593-2336

    Ainsley Cunningham
    Manitoba Securities Commission
    204-945-4733

    Noel Busse
    Financial and Consumer Affairs
    Authority of Saskatchewan
    306-798-4160

    Mark Dickey
    Alberta Securities Commission
    403-297-4481

    Shmaila Nosheen
    Office of the Superintendent of Securities
    Department of Justice
    Northwest Territories
    867-920-6964