March: Fraud Prevention MonthAMF helps consumers protect themselves against financial fraud


Montréal – March is Fraud Prevention Month and the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is stepping up efforts to remind Québec consumers of the importance of investigating before investing to protect themselves against fraud schemes.

“The consequences of fraud are significant. In addition to the financial losses, fraud causes psychological and physical effects on victims. Don't be fooled by so-called hot tips, be wary if someone pressures you to invest and, of course, don't hesitate to report fraud schemes,” noted Jean St-Gelais, President and Chief Executive Officer of the AMF. A survey conducted by the Canadian Securities Administrators reported that Québec had the highest proportion of people (81%) who felt that it was important to report all fraud attempts. However, only 24% of Quebeckers who were approached by fraudsters said they reported this to authorities. This is one of the lowest rates in Canada.

Senior citizens: fraudsters' favourite target

Because they have often accumulated savings, the elderly are a favourite target of fraudsters. The AMF, in collaboration with the Québec Ministère de la Famille et des Aînés, has prepared a leaflet intended for senior citizens titled Trop beau pour être vrai? Méfiez-vous! (pdf - 409 KB)This link will open in a new windowUpdated on November 25, 2009 (in French only). It provides basic advice on outsmarting fraudsters:

  • Make sure the person offering the investment is registered with the AMF. Never pay in cash or issue a personal cheque in the name of the person who is offering the investment.
  • Do not provide personal information such as a personal identification number (PIN) or social insurance number (SIN) to anyone you do not know.
  • Be suspicious of “confidential” information with a promise of a healthy profit; this is often false and can be costly.

In the next few weeks, AMF representatives will hold conferences for senior citizens, retirees and early retirees in the Montérégie, Montréal and Bas-Saint-Laurent regions to help them better protect themselves against financial fraud.

Guy Mongrain

On March 10, 2010, the AMF will invite the public to a major conference on fraud prevention during which Guy Mongrain, a popular television host who was a victim of financial fraud, will talk about his experience. The conference, which will take place at the Sheraton Laval in the evening, will also be an opportunity to provide advice and information so Quebeckers can better recognize and avoid financial fraud. The public can register on the AMF website or through the AMF Information Centre.

Other similar conferences will be held in various locations across Québec in 2010, including Longueuil, Sherbrooke and Saguenay. The dates will be confirmed shortly.

The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.

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Sylvain Théberge: (514) 940-2176

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