What is an investment scam?

Fraudsters lure you into their fake investment schemes, financial products and services. They usually sell their scams with promises of high returns and convince you to invest by emphasizing a limited-time offer, tax-free opportunity or insider information.

Signs of an investment scam

  • You’re required to pay a finder’s fee in advance for certain offers
  • You’re guaranteed a high return on a low-risk or risk-free investment
  • You're told it's a limited-time or one-time offer and you need to act fast to avoid missing the investment opportunity
  • You're given insider or confidential information. Insider trading is illegal in Canada.
  • You’re pressured to send money via wire transfer to complete a transaction

Stay safe with our tips

  • Don't feel pressured to invest your money, especially when you get investment advice from someone you’re unfamiliar with. If you’re unsure of an investment opportunity, seek financial advice from a trusted professional.
  • Find information online about the company and the investment. Verify any Canadian dealer or seller in the Canadian Securities Administrator's National Registration Search Opens in a new window..
  • Always protect your personal and banking information, such as your Social Insurance Number, credit card information and passwords.
  • Be suspicious of investment opportunities that promise a high return with little to no risk. Take your time to research the organization or company.
  • Carefully read and understand the terms and conditions before you enter any agreement or make a purchase

Learn more about investment scams

Canadian Securities Administrators Opens in a new window.

Read about common investment scams and their red flags.

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre Opens in a new window.

Report fraud when it happens and track the latest data on fraud in Canada.

The Little Black Book of Scams Opens in a new window.

Download the Canadian Competition Bureau's guide to scams in 8 different languages.