BlueHedge Investments Fraud Campaign
Did you know that 30% of Canadians who come across investment opportunities on their own, find out about it through the internet.
CSA enforcement teams across the country have firsthand knowledge of the unscrupulous ways that tech-savvy fraudsters use the internet to promote online investment scams.
That’s where we come in.
In the Fall 2011, Canadian securities regulators* launched BlueHedge Investments, a fictitious company, to show just how easy it can be to fall for investment fraud, and provide you with the signs and tools to help identify a scam fight back.
A flashy website, online advertisements, email messages and social media profiles were all used to promote BlueHedge - the same methods that scam artists use to promote their unscrupulous investment opportunities.
Those online during the campaign may have spotted ads like these for BlueHedge Investments on several search engine, social networking and business and lifestyle websites.
Social media pages
We created Twitter and Facebook profiles for BlueHedge Investments and inserted posts and replies from the company to various targeted groups, walls and discussions.
Facebook - Don’t have a Facebook account? View a PDF screen shot.
We sent emails that looked like they came from BlueHedge Investments to more than 34,000 Canadians.
Click image to enlarge
Company website and video
The BlueHedge Investments website has many of the same features that our enforcement teams have observed on fraudulent websites.
BlueHedge Isn’t Real website
When investors tried to ‘Invest Now’, or enter any personal information on the BlueHedge Investments website, they were redirected to an education site which revealed that BlueHedge isn’t real. This site has helpful tips on how to recognize, avoid and report online investment fraud. Resources on the education site include: red flags, five things to know, an investor testimonial video, how to report a scam and how to warn a friend.
Take action against online investment fraud
For further information on the campaign, please contact the CSA Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find out more by reading the Investor Education Month and Fraud Prevention Month news releases.
*This public education initiative was brought to you by securities regulators in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Québec, Saskatchewan and Yukon.