Local investment scams spark a call for caution: BBB has tips to help you become a savvy investor

January 30, 2014

January 30th, 2014 – CALGARY, ALBERTA – Looking to make some extra cash? Investments may seem like an easy way to get the cash flowing, but before you invest your hard-earned life savings be sure to check that you aren’t handing your money over to scammers. In light of two local investment schemes targeting Albertans, BBB is offering a Savvy Investors seminar to help you invest wisely.

On Tuesday the Calgary Herald reported Gary Walker, 68, had been arrested by Calgary Police and charged with five fraud-related counts, including defrauding multiple Alberta victims out of $320,000 in an investment scheme. On the same day, the Calgary Herald reported that investors who have invested in Morgan Dragon Development Corp. have also become victims of an investment scheme.

President and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, Sandra Crozier-McKee, says it is crucial for consumers to exercise extreme caution when investing their money. “BBB is here to help consumers educate and protect themselves in the marketplace,” she said. “Our Savvy Consumers education program offers consumer tips on how to be a savvy investor and fraud-fighter by knowing the telltale signs of fraud. It takes a lifetime of hard work to save your earnings but only a few seconds to be left empty-handed if you are quick to make bad investments.”

BBB urges consumers to watch out for these warning signs protect yourself from investment fraud and schemes:

  • Guarantees and unsolicited offers: Beware of investors who guarantee you a successful investment.  If it seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Scammers will try to convince you to invest in their offer by guaranteeing you a deal that seems too good to pass up.
  • Unregistered and unlicensed: Ask if the investor is properly licensed and registered. If the investor cannot produce proper documentation, chances are it is an illegitimate deal.
  • Complex strategies: If it seems too complicated or too much of a hassle to invest in the deal, it could be a red flag. Scammers often try to use confusing tactics to trick you into committing to an offer.
  • Account discrepancies: Be sure to check your bank account and credit-card reports regularly. Ensure there is no suspicious or unauthorized activity. If you feel you account has been compromised, contact your local bank quickly to stop or limit fraudulent activity on your account.
  • Research the investment firm. Check the location and contact information of the investment firm. If you cannot find this information, it may be a red flag. Also look for slight misspellings of domain names and graphics that look similar to legitimate businesses. Scammers often try to trick you by using similar names and logos of legitimate and credible organizations.

Join BBB for their next Savvy Investors seminar at the Airdrie and District Victim Services on March 26, 2014. For more information on protecting yourself from investment fraud, visit bbb.org.



Media Contact:

Leah Brownridge
Marketing Communications Coordinator
Email: leah@calgary.bbb.org
Phone: (403) 531-8793

About BBB:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local,independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, which was founded in 1954 and garners more than one million instances of service annually. 

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