Enforcement staff are responsible for dealing with complaints, carrying out investigations and conducting enforcement proceedings for breaches of Nova Scotia securities laws.
Commissioners sit as a hearing panel in connection with regulatory enforcement proceedings.
The powers granted to the Commission under the Securities Act include the ability to:
- Freeze property
- Withdraw or restrict trading privileges
- Order administrative penalties of up to one million dollars for each contravention of the Securities Act
- With the consent of the Attorney General, initiate proceedings before the Provincial Court that could result in fines up to five million dollars and/or imprisonment up to five years less a day.
Important investment tips to remember:
- Review investment account statements.
- Get receipts and keep records.
- Confirm your Adviser is Registered.
Five thing you should know to avoid investment fraud
Know your investment goal. It’s easier to determine what types of investments are best suited for you – and avoid ones that may be questionable – if you're clear about your financial goals, time horizons and risk levels. Collaborating with a registered financial adviser to prepare an investment plan is a good way to help identify and crystallize your investment goals. Once you have a plan, make sure you review it at least once a year or when there are any changes in your financial or life circumstances.
Know whom you're dealing with. In a 2012 CSA survey, almost half of all investors said they had a registered financial adviser – an improvement from 2009, when only 46 per cent had one. But among those with advisers, 60 per cent acknowledged they did not check the qualifications and background of the person to whom they were entrusting their investments. Investors can use the CSA’s National Registration Search to start this process in both English and French.
Know what you're investing in. CSA’s research also reveals that most Canadians lack a solid understanding of their investments. Only 12 per cent of respondents in a recent CSA survey had a realistic idea of what market returns should be. The CSA also has numerous resources on its website to help Canadians understand key investing concepts.
- Know the red flags of investment fraud. The signs of a potentially fraudulent scheme become easier to spot when you know what they are: guarantees of high returns with little or no risk, tax-free offshore investments, limited time offers, and insider opportunities that are “exclusive” to you and a select group of investors. Some fraudsters might befriend a respected or influential member of a group and then use this person to recruit new investors. In this type of affinity fraud, investors lose hard-earned money to individuals they thought they could trust. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Know whom to contact for help and resources. Whether it’s to research a prospective financial adviser, to find out more about investing, or to report a possible fraud, it’s important for investors to know where to go for information and help. Please refer to our investor education resources.