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

Seabridge Gold starts drilling along proposed tunnel route north of Stewart

Twin tunnels will connect the KSM mine to its mill and tailings site

Mother grizzly bear with two cubs spotted on Gruchy’s Beach trail near Terrace

Conservation officers also warning public to stay away from Grizzlies on lower Kitimat River

Terrace conservation officers relocate Spirit bear

Bear roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

Horgan says B.C. restart making gains as more people come out of their homes

B.C. announced the easing of more restrictions on businesses, recreation and travel last month

Conservatives say police should be called into investigate WE charity scandal

Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest

Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father

Police issued the alert for Norah Carpentier, 11, and Romy Carpentier, 6, from Levis, Que.

Limit police access to lethal weapons in Indigenous communities: Justice Summit

Grassroots-organized National Indigenous Justice Summit was a free-to-attend two-day videoconference

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Large rogue floating ‘island’ corralled by Lac la Hache residents

At least 60 feet wide, this large mass of plants is free-floating on the lake

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Most Read