March is Fraud Prevention Month.
The Nova Scotia Securities Commission is reminding investors to practice due diligence.
Heidi Schedler, Senior Enforcement Counsel with the Commission says the sudden rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies has scam artists and fraudsters very active.
"Fraudsters and scam artists really tend to grab on to whatever the latest fad is. Bitcoin definitely falls into that category. People are hearing a lot about it, it's in the news almost every day. The fraudster's approach is nothing new, but the subject is new."
Schedler says fraudsters typically target people with this lack of knowledge.
She says people should always fully understand what they're investing in.
"Not only does that require you to have an open and honest conversation with the person that's initially pitching this investment to you, but then to take some time to have that sober second thought, to step back from it. Go speak with someone who is actually registered with the Securities Commission to provide financial advice. Have a conversation with them and get some advice from then on whether or not this is an appropriate investment and specifically what are the risks."
Schedler says to help investors avoid frauds and schemes the Commission has developed a new Investment Fraud Protection Checklist.
It includes information an investor should check before purchasing any investment.
The checklist is available at: nssc.novascotia.ca,
— SecuritiesCommission (@NSSCommission) March 13, 2018