Investor alert: ‘Split games’ pyramid scheme circulating in B.C.

British Columbia Securities Commission issues warning about scheme selling virtual shares

Don’t be fooled by pyramid schemes operating as so-called “split games” in B.C., the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating capital markets is warning.

According to a release from the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) on Tuesday, virtual shares in “split games” are being marketed and sold in the Lower Mainland’s Chinese community by B.C.-based promoters of FullCarry and International Money Tree.

The shares are apparently not backed by any underlying asset, the release said, and can only be bought and sold online.

The promoters claim rising demand will drive up the price of the shares and when the price hits a certain threshold, the shares “split,” perhaps doubling or tripling in number and returning to their original price.

Promoters also limit how many shares users can convert to conventional currency, and charge a 10 per cent transaction fee for selling them. Meanwhile, they focus on recruiting more participants by giving buyers bonuses for each additional person they bring into the game.

“Whenever someone promises high returns with little or no risk, that’s a warning sign,” said Doug Muir, director of enforcement for the BCSC. “These split games, like other pyramid schemes, depend on more and more people buying in.

“You could easily lose your entire investment.”

READ MORE: Insurance group ‘dishonestly raised over $47 million’

FullCarry, formerly known as Furuida Global or FRD Global, purports to be incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and based in Dubai. The BCSC said B.C.-based promoters for FullCarry are known to have held meetings in Vancouver and Richmond, and operate a private WeChat group.

International Money Tree purports to be headquartered and operated in Singapore.

READ MORE: Surrey man banned from involvement in securities transactions

The BCSC said games being promoted in B.C. are similar to online investment schemes that have surfaced in China and Malaysia, one of which resulted in organizers being sanctioned by authorities for issuing unauthorized payment instruments.

Anyone who has information about a split game is urged to contact the BCSC Inquiries line at 604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393, or to file a complaint online.



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

Coastal GasLink gives $100K to United Way efforts in Northern B.C.

Organization’s COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits seniors in isolation, among others

Don’t delay going to the ER if you have an ‘urgent or emergent’ medical problem: Chief of Staff

Dr. Rebecca Janssen writes a weekly letter to residents of the Omineca Region.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada lifts at-sea observer requirements due to COVID-19

Fisheries Management Order went into effect April 2 and will remain for 45 days

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

Most Read