Calgary and Winnipeg – The securities regulatory authorities in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Northwest Territories, Prince Edward Island and Yukon are warning the public about GoldberryCo, which is operating an online investment scam targeting Canadians through the websites goldberryco.com and Goldbrco.com. GoldberryCo is not registered to sell investments in Canada.
GoldberryCo is encouraging Canadians to invest through social media, fake news articles and spoofed websites of legitimate companies, including well-known Canadian media, reporters and high-profile individuals.
GoldberryCo employs common characteristics of online investment scams which can include:
- Contact from someone claiming to be an account manager or similar to discuss an “opportunity” and provide “support.” Contact may occur within minutes or hours after you have responded to an advertisement.
- Requests for an initial small deposit (approx. $350 CDN) with hopes to extract larger sums from the victim at a later date. Victims are assured that funds can be withdrawn at any time.
- False profits, shown via fake account balances on fictitious investment trading websites.
- Promises of “guaranteed” high returns with little or no risk.
- High pressure to make a decision quickly so you don’t miss out on an “exclusive opportunity.”
- The inability to withdraw all funds. Although portions may be withdrawn initially to build trust and entice further investment, eventually the fraudsters will no longer respond to communication requests from investors.
- Unsolicited offers to help recover lost funds, for a fee. It is almost impossible to recover crypto assets once they’re gone and anyone making unsolicited contact promising to do so is most likely a fraudster.
Anyone selling investments or providing investment advice in Canada, including platforms that facilitate the trading of crypto assets, must comply with applicable securities or derivatives legislation. Investors should always check the registration of any person or business trying to sell them an investment or give them investment advice. To do this, investors can visit AreTheyRegistered.ca.
The CSA strongly encourages investors to:
- Learn the red flags of fraud.
- Not provide remote access to your phone, tablet or computer to strangers.
- Check the National Registration Search to ensure the individual or firm selling an investment is registered in your province or territory.
- Check the CSA Investor Alerts, Disciplined List and Cease Trade Orders to ensure the individual or firm selling the investment opportunity isn’t considered an investor risk, or the subject of disciplinary or enforcement actions.
- Check Whois to ensure any website you are engaging with has not been recently created. The two GoldberryCo websites noted above were just set up a few months ago, which is a red flag.
- Protect your personal information. Avoid providing your name, phone number and email address when spam advertisements ask for them.
The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada’s provinces and territories, co-ordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Canadian Securities Administrators
For investor inquiries, please contact your local securities regulator.