Montréal - The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is warning Québec investors about certain on-line ads encouraging them to become financial partners in a foreign mining project promising significant guaranteed returns.
According to terms, these offers were intended for sophisticated investors prepared to invest a minimum of $150,000 and involved the operation of a network of small well-established operators in Africa who were purportedly able to supply a gold purchasing program in the Arab countries.
This solicitation was uncovered through cybersurveillance conducted by the AMF which can detect such offers and have them removed quickly, reducing the risk of creating new victims. This also allows us to identify the emergence of new strategies so we can quickly warn the public about them.
Since 2010, the AMF has been able to draw on a dedicated cybersurveillance team made up of four investigators. The team uses specialized software programs to uncover individuals and businesses that offer financial products to Québec investors without being authorized to do so, and to monitor websites for suspicious activities. Depending on circumstances, these investigators are able to infiltrate operations and enable the AMF to file cease trade and freeze orders with the Bureau de décision et de révision in order to alert the public and protect assets in the course of investigations.
Don't become a victim of fraud
The AMF reminds consumers of the importance of having access to accurate and up-to-date information about a proposed investment. Before acting, an informed investor should ensure he or she has access to the prospectus, which gives essential information about an issuer, including information on its products, management team, strategic and financial planning and risk exposure, or ensure that the investment is being sold under a prospectus exemption (pdf - 444 KB)This link will open in a new window.
If you are thinking of investing in a mining company, you need to understand the nature and related risks of the mining industry, an industry known to be cyclical.
Whether on the Internet or in person, offering investments is a regulated activity. The individual or business asking for your money must be registered with the AMF. To make sure you don't become a victim, check whether the individual or business is registered in the Register of firms and individuals authorized to practise.
If you think you have detected or been the target of a scam, do not hesitate to contact the Information Centre. Your information could help the AMF better protect consumers.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (the AMF) 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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