Watch out for COVID-related investment scams

April 02, 2020

Terry Willis, Vice President & Financial Consultant, T.E. Wealth

Normally around this time a year, the CRA phone scam starts up. A typical scenario has a taxpayer receiving an aggressive call from a fraudster, demanding credit card or other personal information to pay taxes owing. If the taxpayer doesn’t agree to the request, they’re told the police will be coming to their door shortly to lay charges.

In February 2020, the RCMP charged two people in connection with multiple transnational scams, including the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) telephone scam. Now, the North American Securities Administration Association (NASAA) anticipates more scammers coming up with various types of investment frauds as a result of COVID-19.

Watch out for scams that ask you to invest in projects to raise capital for companies manufacturing surgical masks and gowns or producing ventilators. Also, be on alert for people trying to sell investments that protect you against market volatility and promise securities with “guaranteed returns.” As always, consult with your financial advisor before making any investment decisions. They can help you determine whether an organization is legitimate, and fits with your portfolio plan.