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

Residents want City of Courtenay to move proposed trail route

City says route closer to the shoreline poses number of problems

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

Comox Valley Regional District awarded poverty reduction strategy grant

The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD), in partnership with the City of… Continue reading

CVRD office and meetings re-opening to public

The office has been closed to the public since March 17 to help limit the spread of the coronavirus

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Minivan driver’s speed a factor in fatal 2018 Malahat crash

Driver was travelling at 110 km/h in a construction zone

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Most Read