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“Free lunch” Investment Seminar Scams

The promise of high returns on investments that, if they exist, are high-risk products.

How it works

Scammers often target pre-retirees through "free lunch" investment seminars. The investments themselves may not be scams, but the high-risk investments being promoted may not be appropriate for you as an investor, and the high-pressure sales tactics used at these seminars often raise concerns.

How to protect yourself

  • Be wary of anyone who suggests investing your money into something you don't understand or who urges you to leave everything in their hands.
  • Watch out for salespeople who prey on your fears and emotions, and take the time to evaluate and think it through before you make any decision.
  • Check that the individual and firm selling the investment are registered in New Brunswick. Use the National Registration Search Tool.
  • Get as much written information as possible about the investment. It should include detail about the risks and costs of the investment, and what you have to do to get your money out.
  • If you’re unsure, get a financial professional such as an accountant, lawyer, or a financial advisor to evaluate the investment.  

How to report it

If you have concerns about wrongdoing, insider information, or an individual or firm operating without being registered, 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.

Other organizations that may be able to help:

  • The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) IIROC regulates investment dealers and their approved advisers, and trading on equity marketplaces (like the TSX). You can find a list of regulated companies and marketplaces at
  • Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) The MFDA regulates mutual fund dealers and their salespeople. You can find a list of MFDA dealers at