CALGARY, June 29, 2020 /CNW/ - The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) is warning Alberta investors to exercise extreme caution with Claim Central (CC), a company purportedly working to recover investor losses from binary options scams. CC is not related to Claim Central Consolidated.
CC contacts its victims via telephone or email, claiming that they are investigating a binary options fraud scheme and that the victim's name is on the list of individuals that have been defrauded. CC then claims that they are able to retrieve the victim's stolen money, but require payment of a "tax-fee" to make that possible. The company's website also references a number of other related legal services. This appears to be a recovery room scheme with an attempt to add legitimacy to the scam by claiming to have an Alberta presence.
Recovery room schemes typically involve companies that contact investors who may have lost money in an illiquid or fraudulent investment and offer to recover their funds. Once investors agree to the deal, they are typically asked to pay upfront fees for the service or transaction. In reality, the operators keep the funds, but do not complete the service. They may also sell the victim's personal information to other scam artists so they can be targeted again.
There are several "red flags" or risks common in illegal investment schemes present in CC's promotions and sales techniques, including:
- Suspicious contact information. CC falsely listed its business address as Enbridge Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, and provides misleading and false information on its website. The website has, at times, also included the names of legitimate individuals to add credibility to the scheme.
- Upfront fees. CC requested an advance "tax-fee" of $550 in cryptocurrency. Care should be taken when providing funds prior to receiving a service.
- A sense of urgency. CC is creating a sense of urgency, claiming individuals have less than 30 days to bring their claim to a conclusion. Albertans should be aware that this is a common tactic used in fraudulent investments or recovery room schemes.
- Providing personal information. CC requested personal information such as passport details and utility bills. Albertans should take extreme caution when providing any personal information.
- Requests for secrecy. CC requires that the victim sign a Limited Power of Attorney agreeing not to disclose anything about the agreement to anyone, or risk the loss of their entire claim.
The ASC urges any Albertans contacted by CC, or with any information regarding a scheme like this, to contact the ASC at [email protected] or by calling 403-355-4151 (toll-free 1-877-355-4488).
The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the province's securities laws. It is entrusted with fostering a fair and efficient capital market in Alberta and with protecting investors. As a member of the Canadian Securities Administrators, the ASC works to improve, coordinate and harmonize the regulation of Canada's capital markets.
SOURCE Alberta Securities Commission
For further information: For Media Inquiries: Theresa Schroder, 587-830-4286; For Investor Inquiries: ASC Public Inquiries, Toll Free: 1-877-355-4488