CSA

Calgary – The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is warning investors about companies claiming to have products or services that will prevent, detect or cure coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

Fraudsters take advantage of global events and breaking news to lure potential investors with the expectations of significant returns. A common way they do this is through pump-and-dump schemes involving publicly traded small “shell” companies.

What Canadians need to know about pump-and-dump schemes:

  • These fraudulent penny stock companies may have limited or untrue publicly available information about the management team, their products or services, and their finances.
  • Fraudsters spread positive, but false, information that lures investors to purchase the stock. The false information may spread, for example, through hyped-up news releases, social media or paid promotional campaigns through other individuals, companies or websites. The more investors that purchase the stock, the more inflated or “pumped up” the price of the stock becomes.
  • Fraudsters then quickly “dump” their stock before the hype ends, resulting in a substantial payout for them. The stock price then drops and the remaining investors lose their money.

At this time, there is no vaccine or any natural health product that is authorized to treat or protect against COVID-19. Be cautious of any claims that a company has a solution to help stop the coronavirus outbreak. Reliable information relating to COVID-19 is available from the World Health Organization This link will open in a new window and the Government of Canada This link will open in a new window.

When investing in any company, carefully research the investment and keep in mind that fraudsters often exploit the latest crisis. If you believe that you or someone you know has been offered a fraudulent opportunity related to the coronavirus, please contact your provincial or territorial securities regulator This link will open in a new window.

The CSA is also aware of instances where Canadians are targeted by scam artists using fear around the current economic conditions to attempt to steal the investor’s money. Investors contacted by anyone with warnings about their investments or finances should never give out any personal information, and contact their investment adviser or bank separately after independently verifying the phone number to ensure the caller is legitimate.

The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada’s provinces and territories, co- ordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets.

For investor inquiries, please refer to your respective securities regulator. You can contact them hereThis link will open in a new window.

For media inquiries, please refer to the list of provincial and territorial representatives below or contact us at media@acvm-csa.ca.

For more information:

CSA member name

Point of contact

Phone number

Autorité des marchés financiers

Sylvain Théberge

514-940-2176

Alberta Securities Commission

Hilary McMeekin

403-592-8186

British Columbia Securities Commission

Brian Kladko

604-899-6713

Financial and Consumer Affairs, Authority of Saskatchewan

Shannon McMillan

306-798-4160

Financial and Consumer Services Commission, New Brunswick

Sara Wilson

506-643-7045

Government of Prince Edward Island, Superintendent of Securities

Steve Dowling

902-368-4550

Manitoba Securities Commission

Jason (Jay) Booth

204-945-1660

Nova Scotia Securities Commission

David Harrison

902-424-8586

Nunavut Securities Office

Jeff Mason

867-975-6591

Office of the Superintendent of Securities, Newfoundland and Labrador

Renée Dyer

709-729-4909

Office of the Superintendent of Securities, Northwest Territories

Tom Hall

867-767-9305

Office of the Yukon, Superintendent of Securities

Rhonda Horte

867-667-5466

Ontario Securities Commission

Kristen Rose

416-593-2336