After issuing a warning earlier this month about scammers posing as Fidelity Investments, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) broadened that warning Monday to other major industry brands.
In a new alert, the CSA warned investors about investment scams that involve fraudsters posing as large, well-known financial firms including banks, insurers and mutual fund companies.
“Recently, the CSA has noted an increase in the number of scams involving the use of professional-looking electronic brochures and other marketing material, designed to deceive Canadian investors into visiting ‘spoofed’ websites,” it said.
The CSA said these materials direct investors to fake websites set up by the scammers, which look nearly identical to the real company’s website.
“Calls to the phone numbers provided typically reach a scammer who pretends to be an employee of the real company. Investors are then usually instructed to send funds via wire transfer,” the regulator said.
Among other things, the alert advises investors to avoid unusual payment methods, such as wire transfers or crypto payments; to independently verify contact information; and to be alert to indications of fake websites, such as misspellings and odd-looking logos.