The new self-regulatory organization and the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) are warning investors about fraudsters impersonating real investment advisors.
In a release on Wednesday, the regulators said they recently noted a spike in advisor impersonation schemes.
“In communications with investors, fraudsters claim to be associated with legitimate firms, or pose as registered individuals,” the release said. “If you suspect anything unusual, always independently verify that the person calling or emailing you is the person they claim to be.”
Fraudsters often use the name of a real registered individual, but the email domain or phone number is bogus, the release said. The regulators warned investors to delete phishing emails and to refrain from clicking on links.
“Do not rely on unsolicited information, do your own research online, and contact the individual advisor and the firm directly to confirm it was them who had contacted you,” the release said.
The regulators encouraged investors to check advisors’ backgrounds and history using CSA’s national registration search or AdvisorReport on the website of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. The CSA also lists firms to avoid.