CSA urges Canadians to "take the next step" to protect themselves from
investment fraud

MONTREAL, March 1 /CNW Telbec/ - More than a million Canadians have lost money in an investment fraud, according to recent research from the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA). The 2009 CSA Investor Index found that Canadians feel confident and believe they are knowledgeable and responsible when it comes to investing, yet they are not taking the next steps to put their knowledge into practice.

March is Fraud Prevention Month and the CSA is urging investors to move beyond simply knowing what they should do about potential investment fraud and take the next step to protect themselves and their financial future.

"We are encouraged to see that the majority of Canadians are knowledgeable about what they should do when it comes to investing and investment fraud," says Jean St-Gelais, Chair of the CSA and President & Chief Executive Officer of the Autorité des marchés financiers (Québec). "Unfortunately, many do not act on this knowledge, or their actions contradict their knowledge of investing and fraud prevention.

"Investors need to be aware that not every investment opportunity is right for them and that some opportunities may not be appropriate for them, or may even be a scam," says St-Gelais.

The CSA urges all Canadians to take these simple next steps to protect themselves from investment fraud:

    
    1. Work with your investment adviser to assess and review your risk
       tolerance. According to the CSA Index, fewer than half of Canadians
       have worked with their financial adviser to assess their willingness
       to take risk. The CSA encourages you to meet with an adviser to
       determine your risk tolerance, and to review it at least once a year.
       Knowing your risk tolerance will help when deciding if an investment
       fits your goals and objectives.

    2. Familiarize yourself with common red flags of investment scams.
       Investment fraud is a serious concern. Investors should go to the
       CSA's website www.securities-administrators.ca to visit the Avoiding
       Fraud page. There you can learn to identify the red flags of
       investment frauds such as affinity fraud, boiler room scams and more.

    3. Research each investment opportunity and do a background check on the
       person and company offering an investment. Researching each investment
       opportunity is important, but few investors actually take the time to
       complete a background check on the person or company offering an
       investment. Use the CSA National Registration Search to see if your
       investment adviser is registered to provide the services offered, and
       the CSA Disciplined Persons List to see if a person has ever been
       disciplined by a regulatory body. You can also contact your local
       securities regulator for a listing of any potential enforcement action
       against a company or individual.

    4. Report any suspicion of investment fraud to your local securities
       regulator. Almost four in 10 Canadians have been approached with an
       investment fraud, most of them multiple times. Although 78 per cent
       believe it's important to report even the suspicion of an investment
       fraud, only 26 per cent take that step. The CSA reminds investors that
       if you know or suspect you have been approached with a fraudulent
       investment, your next step should be to call your provincial or
       territorial securities regulator to report the incident.
    

The CSA, the council of securities regulators of Canada's provinces and territories, coordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets.

    
    For more information:

    Sylvain Théberge                  Wendy Connors-Beckett
    Autorité des marchés financiers   New Brunswick Securities Commission
    514-940-2176                      506-643-7745

    Robert Merrick                    Ainsley Cunningham
    Ontario Securities Commission     Manitoba Securities Commission
    416-593-2315                      204-945-4733

    Ken Gracey                        Natalie MacLellan
    British Columbia Securities       Nova Scotia Securities Commission
    Commission                        902-424-8586
    604-899-6577

    Mark Dickey                       Barbara Shourounis
    Alberta Securities Commission     Saskatchewan Financial Services
    403-297-4481                      Commission
                                      306-787-5842

    Linda Peters                      Doug Connolly
    Office of the Attorney General    Financial Services Regulation Div.
    Prince Edward Island              Newfoundland and Labrador
    902-368-4552                      709-729-2594

    Fred Pretorius                    Louis Arki
    Yukon Securities Office           Nunavut Securities Office
    867-667-5225                      867-975-6587

    Donn MacDougall
    Securities Office
    Northwest Territories
    867-920-8984
    

-%SU: LAW,SOC,TAX

-%RE: 1

SOURCE Autorité des marchés financiers

For further information: For further information: Sylvain Théberge, Autorité des marchés financiers, (514) 940-2176; Wendy Connors-Beckett, New Brunswick Securities Commission, (506) 643-7745; Robert Merrick, Ontario Securities Commission, (416) 593-2315; Ainsley Cunningham, Manitoba Securities Commission, (204) 945-4733; Ken Gracey, British Columbia Securities Commission, (604) 899-6577; Natalie MacLellan, Nova Scotia Securities Commission, (902) 424-8586; Mark Dickey, Alberta Securities Commission, (403) 297-4481; Barbara Shourounis, Saskatchewan Financial Services Commission, (306) 787-5842; Linda Peters, Office of the Attorney General, Prince Edward Island, (902) 368-4552; Doug Connolly, Financial Services Regulation Div., Newfoundland and Labrador, (709) 729-2594; Fred Pretorius, Yukon Securities Office, (867) 667-5225; Louis Arki, Nunavut Securities Office, (867) 975-6587; Donn MacDougall, Securities Office, Northwest Territories, (867) 920-8984


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