Check Before You Invest

Protect yourself against investment fraud by being an informed investor. Here are some tools and resources available from the OSC to help you learn more.

Do a background check

  1. Check registration to find out if the person or firm you’re dealing with is registered to sell investments or offer investment advice. Any firm or individual offering investments in Ontario must be registered with the OSC, unless they have an exemption. The registration record will also tell you if a regulator has imposed restrictions on a registration. Theses restrictions are known as “terms and conditions”.
  2. Our Investor Warning List highlights companies that appear to be engaging in activities that pose a risk to investors.
  3. You should also check for both concluded and ongoing disciplinary proceedings against indviduals and firms. The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA), and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) maintain separate databases that will allow you to check the disciplinary records of individuals and firms. The links to these databases are provided in this table:
Concluded cases
- individuals and firms
Ongoing cases
- individuals and firms
Concluded cases
- firms
Ontario Securities Commission

CSA Disciplined List
OSC Proceedings OSC Proceedings
Mutual Fund Dealers Association MFDA Current Disciplinary Cases MFDA completed disciplinary cases
Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada IIROC Disciplinary Cases IIROC Disciplinary Cases

Recognize the red flags of fraud

Has someone ever talked to you or e-mailed you about a potential investment that sounded too good to be true? If they used terms like “high return”, “no risk” or “one-time opportunity” to describe the investment, it may be a fraud. Visit the Canadian Securities Administrators website to learn about different types of investment fraud.

Read more about recognizing and avoiding fraud:

If you suspect investment fraud, report it

Contact us if you’re suspicious about an investment or think you’ve been a victim of investment fraud. As a regulatory agency, the OSC cannot provide legal or financial advice, and we do not normally recover money for investors. However, we can help you get information and resources.

Learn more about investing is a website established by the OSC that develops and promotes unbiased, independent financial information, programs and tools to help consumers make better financial and investing decisions.