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

Rossland Beer Company outlines its expansion plans

New seating area for live bands and washroom some of new ammenities with expansion

Trial date set in Castlegar RCMP shooting death

Constable Jason Tait has elected a jury trial.

Drive-in theatre proposed for Grand Forks

City councillors will vote next month on whether to permit the use of the private property

Morning start: This famous singer is from the West Kootenays

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Tuesday, May 26

West Kootenay SAR crews rescue injured mountain biker near Rossland

Crews were called in to help after the biker seriously injured himself at around noon Saturday

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read