Montréal – With Fraud Prevention Month just around the corner, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is kicking off its month-long awareness and education campaign. "Financial fraud can happen to anyone, but the better informed you are, the greater your chances of not being a victim. We want to use Fraud Prevention Month to convey additional messages to investors to help them recognize, avoid and report financial fraud," said Anne-Marie Poitras, AMF Superintendent, Client Services and Compensation.
Ms. Poitras noted that a recent study by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) revealed that nearly one in 4 Quebeckers have been approached with what they believe to be an investment fraud in their lifetime. She added that investors should always be careful to whom they entrust their savings. "We have a few simple tips to avoid fraud, and we want consumers to know that anti-fraud resources are available to them. That's why we will try to reach as many investors as possible throughout March," said Ms. Poitras.
Here are the activities that will be part of the AMF's campaign:
- The AMF will be at Complexe Desjardins in Montréal on March 5 and 6 and at the Laurier shopping centre in Québec City on March 19 and 20 to answer questions and hand out information.
- A series of press releases will give investors practical tips and warn them about the most common forms of financial fraud. Ms. Poitras will be available for interviews.
- A "Fraud Prevention" section will be posted on the AMF website at www.lautorite.qc.ca, where consumers can find publications to help them recognize the red flags of potential fraud.
- An advertising and information campaign will run in dailies and in Montréal subway cars.
- Using a typical approach employed by scammers, the AMF will contact investors and take the opportunity to caution them about fraud and offer some tips. At the end of the month, the AMF will reveal the number of people who were interested in the trick offer.
- As a member of the CSA, chaired by AMF President and CEO Jean St-Gelais, the AMF will be part of the 2008 Fraud Prevention Forum campaign. The forum brings together more than 90 public and private sector partners committed to educating the public and fighting fraud.
Lastly, Ms. Poitras noted that in addition to the awareness campaign, the AMF has various tools and services available to investors and the general public:
- the section for consumers on the AMF website at www.lautorite.qc.ca and the section "Investor Information" on the CSA website at www.csa-acvm.ca;
- the AMF Information Centre.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec’s financial sector.
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Frédéric Alberro (514) 940-2176
Québec City: 418-525-0337