red warning flag on a stormy beach

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is warning investors about an unregistered firm using phony documents and aggressive sales tactics as part of their investment scheme.

“The Affiliated Trade Group is disseminating a fake document suggesting it has received exemptive relief,” says the OSC in an alert published Wednesday.

“In fact, Affiliated Trade Group has never filed an application for exemptive relief, or been granted any discretionary relief under securities legislation in Ontario, nor has it ever been registered as a reporting issuer in the province, the OSC says.

The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) published its own alert earlier this month about the company, which claims to have operations in Calgary, Costa Rica, Japan and Switzerland.

In its alert, the ASC says “red flags” that are “common to illegal investment schemes” appear in the company’s promotions and sales techniques, including a lack of registration, “suspicious” contact information and the use of high-pressure sales tactics.

Potential investors have been threatened with legal action, or arrest, if they do not go along with the scheme being touted by the firm, the ASC says.