Montréal – Despite the continuing efforts of the AMF and its partners to combat fraud in the financial sector, scam artists are still successfully preying on Quebeckers. In 2018, victims of fraud who contacted the AMF suffered losses totaling over $2.9 million, including over $1.2 million from the online trading platform FSM Smart. To mark fraud prevention month, the AMF is reminding Quebeckers to do their homework before investing, especially through on-line trading platforms.
“Throughout the month of March, the AMF will work to make Quebeckers aware of the importance of developing good reflexes to prevent financial fraud,” said Louis Morisset, AMF President and CEO. “Fraud prevention is central to our mission: in addition to prevention and awareness activities, our teams carry out ongoing monitoring and detection. Based on their work, we regularly issue investor warnings regarding the activities of some individuals and firms and update our warning list of websites and companies illegally soliciting Québec investors. We also intervene, whenever possible, to prevent those individuals, companies and websites from operating in Québec,” said Mr. Morisset.
Market supervision and enforcement activities
The AMF is continuing its monitoring efforts using ever more sophisticated technologies. With the help of specialized tools and software, the AMF’s team of investigators specializing in cybersurveillance searches the Web to uncover individuals and firms offering financial products to Québec investors without being authorized to do so. Our investigators are proactive and collaborate with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, other securities regulators around the world, international partners such as the FBI and Interpol, and even technology giants such as Google and Facebook. The AMF adjusts its detection tools and clarifies its prevention messages on the basis of their investigations, as fraudsters are constantly changing and honing their methods.
The AMF has also set up a whistleblower program enabling whistleblowers to report information to the AMF in the knowledge that it will be dealt with thoroughly and in complete confidence by a specialized team. The program includes anti-reprisal measures prohibiting anyone from doing anything that would adversely affect the whistleblower’s employment or working conditions.
Financial education initiatives
Providing assistance to consumers of financial products and services is part of the mission of the AMF, which makes significant efforts to inform consumers so that they may better recognize, avoid and report fraudulent practices. Given the popularity of on-line investment platforms, especially among young people, the AMF will be meeting with CEGEP students across Québec to help them make informed decisions so they don’t fall victim to financial fraud. The theme of the 2019–2021 CEGEP tour will be Finance$: Avoid the traps! Our teams will also operate a kiosk at the Salon Carrefour 50 ans + in Montréal from March 22 to 24 to talk with seniors about issues affecting them, including financial fraud.
Check before you invest
Are you about to make an investment? Before you do, check the Register of firms and individuals authorized to practise to make sure the firm or person you plan on dealing with is registered in Québec. If they aren’t, steer clear of them and think about informing the AMF.
Scam artists use many schemes, but there are ways you can protect yourself. For more information, consult our fraud prevention page.
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
Québec City: 418-525-0337
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