ASC Reminds Investors to Check First to Prevent Investment Fraud

    CALGARY, March 6 /CNW/ - As part of Fraud Prevention Month, the Alberta
Securities Commission (ASC) is reminding investors to Check First before
making any investing decisions to avoid becoming a victim of investment fraud.
    Investment fraud can happen to anyone. A recent Canadian Securities
Administrators survey indicated almost one in 20 Canadians has been a victim
of investment fraud. By taking the time to Check First, investors can protect
themselves and their hard earned money.
    The ASC offers the following tips on how to Check First and ask the right
questions before you invest:

    -  Conduct a background check on your broker or investment adviser before
       investing. It is always good to seek independent advice from a
       professional advisor before making an investment decision. Visit to learn more about the salesperson and the
       investment product being offered for sale. You can also call the ASC
       at 1-877-355-4488 to check the information and determine if the seller
       is registered or has a history of disciplinary action with the ASC.

    -  Assess your risk tolerance and know what is right for you. Visit the
       ASC website to take a quick risk test to calculate your risk tolerance
       and find out more about how risk affects your investing decisions.

    -  Be aware of the latest investment scams. Learn about common scams and
       recent fraud bulletins to be better prepared the next time you are
       approached with an investment opportunity. Visit the ASC website to
       test your ability to spot a scam and learn more about the Red Flags of
       investing. Keep an eye on our Investor Watch section and sign up to
       receive notices on the latest alerts and investor warnings.

    -  Use the ASC Courses and Resources to become a better investor. Before
       you take an uncalculated risk, take some time to read up and learn
       more about investing. The ASC offers a variety of free resources that
       can be accessed on the For Investors - Courses and Resources section
       of the ASC website. You can also find out about our Basics of
       Investing course offered through NAIT (Edmonton) and Mount Royal
       College (Calgary).

    -  Make fraud prevention and detection part of your routine. If you've
       been a victim or think you may be involved in an investing scam, visit
       our website to find out how to make an inquiry or a complaint. You may
       also wish to contact your local Better Business Bureau or victim
       assistance unit with your local police.

    Investors can learn to Check First and protect their money at
    The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the
province's securities laws. It is entrusted to foster a fair and efficient
capital market in Alberta and to protect investors. As a member of the
Canadian Securities Administrators, the ASC works to improve, coordinate and
harmonize the regulation of Canada's capital markets.

For further information:

For further information: For Media Inquiries: Lorinda Brinton, Advisor,
Investor Education, (403) 297-2665; For Investor Inquiries: ASC Public
Inquiries, Toll Free 1-877-355-4488

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