South Slave

‘Investment scam’ website triggers unusual NWT alert


A website described as an investment scam by authorities in Nova Scotia has now set off a similar warning in the NWT after claiming to be based on Primrose Lane, Fort Smith.

If anyone comes across Erik Gersten, Rachael Kathy, or Emilton Martinez while walking along Primrose Lane, let the NWT government know – because there may have been a terrible mistake.

It’s not likely, though.

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They are allegedly the three people behind LeadingPips.com, which claims to be “a trading platform based in Canada [helping] thousands of marketers to access markets around the world.”

The Nova Scotia and NWT governments both think that’s a crock.

Last month, when LeadingPips was apparently claiming to be based in Nova Scotia, a provincial official said the supposed company’s website “raises a number of red flags characteristic of investment scams.”

For example, said acting director of enforcement Stephanie Atkinson, “LeadingPips claims its accounts are guaranteed and profits will be quickly realized with no risk. These claims carry the hallmarks of investment fraud.”

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The company’s website is also incapable of spelling the word “indices” and all the links to its contact page are broken.

Some time in the last month, LeadingPips appears to have stopped claiming to be from Nova Scotia and has instead added a new address: “Primrose Lane, Fort Smith, Canada.”

Calls to the company’s listed number and an email to a support address were not immediately returned.

Fort Smith to California

On Tuesday, the strange appearance of LeadingPips on the territorial government’s radar led the NWT to issue a warning of its own.

“LeadingPips is not registered to sell securities in the Northwest Territories,” warned the Northwest Territories Office of the Superintendent of Securities, one of the NWT’s more obscure jobs.

LeadingPips “is incorrectly claiming to be based out of the NWT and to be licensed and regulated,” the statement continued. The office said no complaints from members of the public had so far been received.

“The Department of Justice urges all residents to exercise extreme caution when dealing with firms that are not registered in the Northwest Territories,” the territorial government warned. (LeadingPips’ website, despite claiming to be Canada-based, includes an image of a decade-old State of California business licence that did not tally with any information currently available in California’s business registry.)

“It is generally illegal to solicit investments in the Northwest Territories without being registered and complying with Northwest Territories securities laws,” the statement concluded.

As for Erik, Rachael, and Emilton? Their existence could not immediately be confirmed.

A reverse image search showed that photos used to represent them on LeadingPips’ website were each in use by at least one entirely different person online.

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