Beware high profile scams, 'next big thing' warns Alberta Securities Commission

The Canadian Press
Published on January 10, 2017

CALGARY — The Alberta Securities Commission is warning investors to be wary of scams — especially those based on high-profile news stories.

The commission has issued its annual list of investor risks for 2017.

Alison Trollope, with the commission, says a number of dubious companies try attracting investors by making claims based on the state of the economy, an epidemic or a natural disaster.

She says a number of companies claimed to be close to developing a Zika virus vaccine while the 2011 Japan nuclear accident spawned another false claim about the next generation of radiation detectors.

Trollope says the companies are often thinly traded, have little revenue and no hope of fulfilling promises.

She says they're known as pump and dump scams where stock shares are artificially inflated and the scammers sell their shares before the value craters.

The Canadian Press