The Nova Scotia Securities Commission is warning investors about two unregistered investment companies after at least one person lost money dealing with one of them.
The commission said in a news release that Ashford Investments and Quantum Code are not registered to sell securities in the province. The investor who lost money was planning to do business with Quantum Code, but his credit card was charged to Ashford.
Both companies are trying to sell binary options to Nova Scotians.
Commission spokesman David Harrison said both companies are overseas, and it’s not known whether they are affiliated because the commission can’t register or inspect them.
An investor alert about Quantum Code was issued in August 2016.
On Sept. 28, the commission announced a new law making it illegal to advertise, offer, sell or otherwise trade binary options with a time frame shorter than 30 days.
The commission said binary options take the form of a wager in which investors bet on the performance of an underlying asset, often a currency, commodity, stock index or share. The time frame on this bet is typically very short, sometimes hours or even minutes. When the time is up, the investor either receives a predetermined payout or loses the entire amount.
The commission said it is urging Nova Scotians to exercise extreme caution when dealing with firms that are not registered in Nova Scotia. It is illegal to solicit investments in Nova Scotia without registering with the commission and complying with Nova Scotia securities laws.
To see if a company or person is registered, potential investors can check the Canadian Securities Administrators’ National Registration Search.