Alberta Securities Commission warns that not all scams are "cut and dry"

CheckFirst campaign highlights free ASC tools and resources to help consumers protect themselves from investment fraud

CALGARY and EDMONTON, Nov. 5, 2015 /CNW/ - To kick off Financial Literacy Month, the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) wants Albertans to know that bad investments are not always easy to recognize.

"Most people believe that they couldn't fall victim to investment fraud, but successful scam artists are frequently charming, persuasive sales people whose only objective is to separate you from your hard-earned money — that can make a scam tough to identify," said Alison Trollope, Director, Communications and Investor Education at the ASC. "We want Albertans to know the ASC has a wealth of easy-to-use, free resources to help them protect themselves and their financial future from investment fraud."

The risk of investment fraud is real; nearly one-third of Albertans believe they have been approached with a potential investment scam. The ASC's CheckFirst campaign and consumer website provides Albertans with free tools and resources to help them learn how to recognize and avoid investment fraud by reminding them to CheckProtect and then Invest.

To demonstrate to Calgarians that not all scams are cut and dry and to "check first" before investing, the ASC is hosting a pop-up barbershop to provide free hair trims and investor education to consumers. The ASC is transforming the Denim & Smith Barbershop in Bankers Hall into the CheckFirst Barbershop on Thursday, November 5th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The CheckFirst Barbershop will be providing free haircuts, beard trims, clean ups and give-aways and will even feature a live barbershop quartet (Calgary's own Heebee-jeebees) singing a custom jingle to entertain the crowd. Most importantly, the ASC will be on-site to educate consumers on how to avoid getting their investments "thinned" by fraud and the importance of checking registration.

In addition to a province-wide advertising campaign, more events designed to educate consumers are planned for spring 2016 in Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge.

The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the province's securities laws. It is entrusted with protecting investors and fostering a fair and efficient capital market in Alberta. As a member of the Canadian Securities Administrators, the ASC works to improve, coordinate and harmonize the regulation of Canada's capital markets.

For more information on how to avoid fraudulent investments, visit

SOURCE Alberta Securities Commission

For further information: Doug Self, Brookline Public Relations, Office: 403-538-5641 ext. 108, Cell: 403-616-8741, Email:


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