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

Just Posted

Saanich’s 20-year-old acting mayor encourages other young people get involved in politics

There is a ‘hunger for young voices’ in politics right now

Designs for Johnson Street Bridge waterfront areas hit delays

Upgrades to the Songhees Park, surrounding area being presented Thursday

Personal health scare inspires Sidney’s newest gym

Arne Jackson said the scare was a ‘wake-up call’

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Most Read