For Immediate Release
October 20, 2015

Investor Alert: Canadian Securities Regulators issue warning about messaging applications being used to entice investors

Vancouver - 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 Administrators (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.

For more information:

Richard Gilhooley
British Columbia Securities
Commission
604-899-6713

Kristen Rose
Ontario Securities Commission
416-593-2336

Sylvain Théberge
Autorité des marchés financiers
514-940-2176

Ainsley Cunningham
Manitoba Securities Commission
204-945-4733

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

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

Tanya Wiltshire
Nova Scotia Securities Commission
902-424-8586
 

Mark Dickey
Alberta Securities Commission
403-297-4481
 

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

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