Investment scams that convince a person to participate in fraudulent opportunities involving crypto assets.
How it Works
Crypto-related scams often promise unrealistic returns with little or no risk to the investor. They use emotions to lure people in, often making a person feel afraid of missing out on an opportunity that others are profiting from. Crypto scams use platforms such as social media, dating apps, and websites designed to either look like legitimate/registered trading platforms or investment firms. Scammers also reach people through targeted online ads -- such as computer pop-ups -- network marketing, and home phone calls. If questioned, the individuals involved in the scam often suggest they don’t need to comply with financial regulations in New Brunswick. Scammers are also known to pose as financial advisors and solicit investors. Before parting with your money, check to see if they are registered (see below) and the person you are speaking with is the registered individual and not someone impersonating them.
Here are some common crypto-related scams that have occurred in New Brunswick:
- An individual befriends someone and, after developing a relationship with that person, recommends an investment opportunity in crypto assets. The individual guides the person to a fake crypto investing website and provides step-by-step instructions on how to “invest” the money through the site.
- An individual hacks a person’s social media account, and, posing as a friend, convinces you to invest in a crypto asset opportunity.
- An individual calls a person’s home with a crypto-asset investment opportunity and convinces the person to provide remote access to their computer.
- An individual may call pretending to be from a reputable company or member of law enforcement and try to convince you they can help you recoup your losses from a crypto asset scam that either never existed or you already lost money to.
How to Protect Yourself
Individuals and firms in the business of advising or trading in securities or derivatives in New Brunswick must be registered with FCNB. While cryptocurrencies are generally not considered to be securities and, therefore, are generally not subject to securities laws, crypto asset trading platforms that hold cryptocurrencies in custody on behalf of their clients are subject to securities regulation and must be registered by FCNB. Check the list of registered crypto asset trading platforms in New Brunswick before you invest. If you are solicited by someone you don’t know, make sure the person you are speaking with is not impersonating a registered individual. Make sure you understand how the investment works and the fees and risks associated with it. Ask questions and seek a second opinion or professional advice if you are unsure whether an investment opportunity is legitimate.
How to Report It
If you suspect you’re a victim of a crypto-related scam, or attempted crypto-related scam, complete the FCNB Submit a Complaint form.
FCNB is responsible for the administration, education and enforcement of provincial legislation that regulates securities, insurance, pensions, credit unions and certain consumer services. If your complaint relates to an area outside of FCNB’s regulated areas, we may refer you to the appropriate reporting agency or organization.
Learn more about crypto assets and cryptocurrency.