Fraud Prevention Month: 4 steps you can take to safeguard your money from investment scams protect your investment

March is Fraud Prevention Month, a national spotlight that seeks to help Canadians recognize, avoid and report fraud. One of the growing and most insidious forms of fraud are investment scams, where fraudsters prey on those looking for worthwhile opportunities or just the answer to challenging financial circumstances. According to data from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the amount of money reported lost to investment scams has multiplied nearly 20 times from 2019 to 2023.


Fraudsters work hard to repurpose their investment scams and leverage connections they can make online and in person. While it may be hard to know and remember the latest investment scams, there are some great resources and tools provided by the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) to help you better safeguard your hard-earned money.


Consult the ASC’s Investment Caution List


To help inform and protect investors, the ASC created the Investment Caution List. This list outlines companies and individuals that the ASC has identified as appearing to be engaging in activities that either require registration under Alberta securities laws or may be investment scams. It is worthwhile to check this frequently updated list before working with any individual or firm to ensure that they are not present on the list.


Subscribe to the ASC’s Investor Alerts


Investors wanting to stay ahead of emerging fraud trends and market misconduct can also subscribe to the ASC’s Investor Alerts, which are delivered directly to their inboxes. These alerts provide investors with up-to-date information on unregistered individuals and firms violating Alberta and/or Canadian securities law. ASC’s Investor Alerts also help warn the public of common fraud tactics.

Strengthen your investment literacy with


Whether you’ve just started investing or have been on your investment journey for years, the ASC’s investor education website provides a wealth of important information. You can find resources and tools to help you invest suitably for yourself, recognize the red flags of fraud and conduct registration checks on individuals or firms you plan to work with. 


Building your knowledge is an ongoing effort, which is why the ASC shares a new CheckFirst article each month covering an investing concept, misconceptions about investing, investment fraud trends and frequently asked questions. Even better, you can subscribe to the CheckFirst newsletter at for the latest articles, investor alerts and upcoming investor education programs in the community.


Explore the ASC’s 31 Days of Investment Fraud throughout March


In recognition of Fraud Prevention Month, the ASC recently started sharing its new 31 Days of Investment Fraud information. Every day of the month, the ASC will highlight a common investment fraud scam or red flag and detail how Albertans can safeguard their money. 


Alongside this information, found on, visitors can test their knowledge with the Don’t be fooled by fraud quiz and download or print the complete 31 Common Investment Fraud Scams and Red Flags infographic. This infographic gives investors a comprehensive list of what to look out for when it comes to investment scams and how to best avoid them. 


Throughout March, visitors who explore the page and subscribe to the CheckFirst newsletter will also be entered in a draw to win one of three pre-paid MasterCards worth $150.


Building your investor knowledge and leveraging the free tools and resources provided by the Alberta Securities Commission can be a strong combination to protect yourself. Remember, if you are suspicious about an investment you were offered or believe you or someone you care for was a victim of an investment scam, contact the Alberta Securities Commission. You can contact the ASC public inquiries at 1-877-355-4488 or email

Author: James MacTavish

Senior Advisor, Investor & Industry Education

Alberta Securities Commission