Montréal, February 9, 2021 – The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) cautions Québec consumers about fraudulent solicitations claiming to be from a firm called Lavoie-Finance.
According to information gathered by the AMF, individuals are using the names and certificate numbers of representatives registered with the AMF and contacting potential victims through Facebook Messenger to offer them consumer loans at very attractive rates.
These individuals sometimes contact potential victims through the Facebook page of a friend or family member in order to recommend the financial products and services of fraudulent firms to them or tout the merits of the loans they’re offering. The victims, who believe the recommendation is coming from the friend or family member, are then directed to a bogus website that contains the contact information of registered representatives whose identities have been stolen.
The AMF wants the public to know that no firm called “Lavoie-Finance” is registered with it and that the duly registered representatives Suzanne Lavoie and Jonathan Marquis are therefore not attached to a firm of that name or the www.lavoie-finance.ca website and not connected with these fraudulent solicitations.
Moreover, the AMF does not regulate consumer loan activity. Where such loans are not offered by a Canadian chartered bank, credit union, trust company or savings company, the activity must be registered with the Office de la protection du consommateur.
The AMF reminds the public that fraudsters may use the contact information of firms and individuals registered with the AMF to make their activities appear legitimate.
The AMF has noted that fraudsters are using the names of registered firms to induce consumers to purchase insurance or financial products. The fraudsters will even go so far as to use the names of representatives attached to those firms, again with a view to making their victims believe they are dealing with a duly registered representative. The insurance or financial products don’t actually exist and the victims never recover their money. The victims’ identities may also be stolen and used by the fraudsters to pad their own pockets.
We therefore recommend that you perform the following checks and steps before purchasing insurance or financial products:
- Consult the Register of firms and individuals authorized to practise or contact the AMF Information Centre to check whether the individual or firm involved is duly registered with the AMF
- Call the firm or individual at the telephone number appearing in the Register to find out whether the offer that has been made to you is valid
- Never share your personal information or transfer any money before performing these checks
If you have been a victim of this scheme, please contact the AMF and the following organizations:
- Equifax This link will open in a new window and/or TransUnion This link will open in a new window
- The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre This link will open in a new window
The Autorité des marchés financiers is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.
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Sylvain Théberge: 514-940-2176
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