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binary options cryptocurrency Forex

Investment Scams Still Haunting Australians

Australian Citizens Lose over $35 Million to Investment Scams

Scamwatch, an organization that is run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has recently issued its most recent information pertaining to scams and what they found was startling. The numbers clearly showed that the losses due to investment fraud surpassed $35.8 million in the first 10 months of 2018.

The overall breakdown

From January to October 2018, Australian citizens filed nearly 3,000 reports about investments scams, particularly against non-regulated forex, binary options and cryptocurrency brokers. Overall losses amounted to $35,853,001.

The majority of investment scams still target potential victims that are interested in the traditional markets such as foreign exchange (forex) stocks, real estate or commodities. For example, these con-artists cold-call victims claiming to be a traditional stockbrokers or investment portfolio managers and claim they solely have inside information on a particular stock or commodity that is supposedly about to increase or decrease significantly in value. They often claim what they are offer is low-risk or risk-free and will yield rapid and extraordinary returns.

However, cryptocurrency trading and binary options are two other forms of “investments” where scams are unfortunately widespread. In fact cryptocurrency trading scams have grown significantly over the past year or so and are currently the second-most common type of investment scam that lure victims into depositing their hard-earned cash.

Is there a glimmer of hope?

It seems as if the tide is starting to turn. Since July the overall amount of money that Australians have lost to scams decreased significantly. The month of October, in particular, had the least amount of losses reported this year, with $1,365,444 lost. This is down compared to $6 million reported back in July.  Interestingly enough, individuals over 65 years of age reported the largest value in losses in October while those aged from 25 to 34 filed the most reports.

 

Source: Scamwatch.

How to spot an investment scam

First and foremost always check if the investment company or individual is licensed by a regulatory body such as ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) or the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) of the United Kingdom. If they are not licensed or if they are regulated in some offshore country such as Saint Vincent and the Grenadines do not invest with them. Additionally, any time that a broker or company uses the term(s) ‘risk-free investment’ high return, become a millionaire in just three months they are a scam.

Help me I have been scammed

If you were the victim of a binary options, forex, CFD, or cryptocurrency scam contact us immediately here, fill out the form and we will do our best to get back to you as soon as we can.

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Forex scam

ASIC Warns Public About HBC Broker

HBC Broker is the latest non-regulated forex brokerage that is flagged by ASIC

Another day another scam. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission better known as ASIC has finally updated its broker blacklist this past Tuesday. HBC Broker, additionally known as MPG Invest Limited has been scamming investors since they began operating back in 2016. After receiving enough complaints pertaining to their dubious and illegal business practices the Australian regulator decided that enough was enough and put them on their extensive broker blacklist.

The Australian regulator mentioned that HBC Broker does not possess an existing Australian Financial Services (AFS) license or an Australian Credit license from ASIC to offer financial services in Australia. It stressed that they could be involved in a scam.

HBC Broker – False Location, False Registration & False Regulation

Ironically, HBC Broker stands for “Honest Brokers Collaboration.” That quite honestly is the furthest thing from the truth. The fact that the company needs to state that they are honest raises quite a number of red flags. First off, they claim that they are headquartered in Armenia, 5 Shovroyan St, Yerevan, Armenia to be exact. However, upon further research, there is no office located in that location, just an empty building.

Secondly, the broker claims they started operating in 2010. A simple fact check on the website who.is says otherwise. In reality, the website was registered on 2016-03-07.

Thirdly, on the footer of the website, it says that HBC Broker is a “trading name of Trading Point Holdings LTD”, which is regulated by ASIC, FSP (New Zealand), CySEC, FCA and the MiFID.

However, Trading Point Holdings has no relation whatsoever to HBC Broker. In fact, Trading Point Holdings owns XM, which has all of these aforementioned regulations. If one looks at HBC’s Terms and Conditions one will see that the parent company is MPG Invest Limited.

United Kingdom’s FCA Already Outlawed HBC Broker

ASIC isn’t the first regulator to warn against HBC Broker/MPG Invest Limited. Last July, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a warning against the broker. The warning specifically states that the firm does not have the proper authorization to be soliciting British customers.

By the fact that at least two regulatory authorities (ASIC & the FCA) in separate countries have highlighted this company as suspicious and operating without any sort of license should give prospective investors considerable pause before initiating any type of relationship with the broker.

Are you an HBC Broker scam victim?

If you are the victim of an HBC Broker scam be sure to fill out this form and we will do our very best to get into contact with you as soon as we can

Categories
binary options Forex online trading

FCA Updates Forex Broker Scam List

FCA Targets More Forex & Binary Brokers

The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) finally got around to updating its list of unregulated online trading brokers. This list includes both forex and binary options unregulated brokers. Despite the fact, these brokers supposedly offer numerous services they are located in financial havens such as Seychelles, the Marshall Islands or Vanuatu and provide little to no information as to who they really are, and which parent company operates them. So, without further ado let’s introduce these fraudulent companies

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binary options Forex online trading

Mastercard Targets Online Trading

Mastercard cracks down on binary options and unregulated forex

In what seems like a well-synchronized effort, MasterCard has seemingly shut the door on a loophole that unregulated forex, binary options and CFD brokers have used to solicit their fraudulent “products” to unsuspecting investors. The company recently sent out an email to numerous payment processors notifying them about the imminent changes.

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binary options cryptocurrency Forex online trading

Google to Ban Binary Options Ads

Google is ready to ban binary option and cryptocurrency ads

Well, it’s about time, Google is next in line to pose a stiff challenge to the largely fraudulent online trading industry. The world’s largest search engine has just announced that it plans to ban all cryptocurrencies and binary options advertisements, and it is cracking down on ads for various other speculative financial products.

Say goodbye to binary options & cryptocurrency ads

The new rules, which are scheduled to take effect in June, will flat out ban adverts for binary options, cryptocurrencies and all related content (including initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice. Cryptocurrencies have surged in popularity over the last year thanks to a boom in the price of bitcoin towards the end of fiscal 2017. This coincided with a surge in initial coin offerings (ICOs), where numerous startups have issued their own cryptocurrency in exchange for money to construct their businesses.

Taking Facebook’s lead

Google’s hard-line approach follows a similar ban that Facebook enacted earlier in the year in banning cryptocurrency related advertising on its platform. Scott Spencer, Google’s Director of Sustainable Ads said in a recent blog post that the clampdown is part of Google’s efforts to shield consumers from online trading scams.

However, much of the online trading world is unregulated, which in turn has attracted scammers looking to make quick money. Last year myriads of “pump and dump” filled the market, while this year bogus ICO projects have become routine.

Forex & CFD Crackdown

Google is additionally coming down on ads for contracts for difference (CFD), spread betting, and foreign exchange (forex) instruments on its platform.

These products carry a high level of risk and the entire industry is under increasing regulatory scrutiny across Europe over the past year thanks to severe investment fraud sweeping through the continent. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a warning in November that cryptocurrency CFDs are incredibly high-risk, speculative products that risk the investor suffering significant losses. Research conducted by the FCA showed 82% of people who use the products lose money, implying CFDs are more similar to gambling than investing.

Affiliate marketing for online trading takes a hit

Google additionally announced it is banning ads from affiliates and aggregators who traffic leads to online trading brokers. These websites earn a commission for referring new clients to these products that are lightly regulated.

The search giant will require CFD, spread bet, and forex websites to register with it if they want to advertise on its platform and all brokers must be licensed in the country they are looking to advertise in.

Pressure getting to Google

Google’s financial marketing crackdown arises among continued pressure on the search giant, which additionally owns YouTube, regarding the way it runs its advertising procedure. Google has been heavily criticized by the media and politicians for permitting everything from radicalization to binary options trading on its advertising platform due to careless controlling of content and advertising.

Spencer did state in his blog post that Google removed 3.2 billion “bad” ads last year and announced, “Improving the ads experience across the web, whether that’s removing harmful ads or intrusive ads, will continue to be a top priority for us.” We shall see. However, there is a pretty good chance that these fraudulent brokers will just simply change the name of their product in order to get around Google’s ban and deceive an unsuspecting user.

What you can do

If you see any ads pertaining to binary options, cryptocurrencies etc., be sure to inform them here so they can ultimately remove them. If you were the victim of a scam please be sure to fill out our contact form and we will do our best to get back to you as soon as we can.

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Forex OTCapital scam

Regulated Forex Scams? You Bet

Yes, Regulated Forex Brokers Commit Scams

When one typically hears the phrase “forex scam” one automatically assumes that it is being perpetrated by an unlicensed or unregulated forex broker. For the most part, that assumption is correct. All you have to do is a quick google search and you will find numerous articles detailing reprehensible acts committed by unregulated forex and binary options brokers. However, there have been numerous instances of regulated forex brokers skirting the rules.

Not all regulated brokers are trustworthy

Unfortunately, there are numerous regulated forex brokers that have defrauded unsuspecting clientele as well. Last year on the CFTC slapped a $7 million fine on Forex Capital Markets (FXCM) in a civil monetary penalty for engaging in fraudulent and misleading solicitations, spanning from September 4, 2009, through at least 2014.

Additionally, the CFTC emphasized that FXCM had misrepresented that its ‘No Dealing Desk’ trading platform had no conflicts of interest with its clientele. Instead of running a true ECN execution platform where trades are performed directly in the interbank market, their clientele’s trades would be redirected to a Effex Capital LLC, which was originally designated to be an independent market maker but was, in reality, an extension of FXCM. Effex Capital would take very aggressive forex trades against the investors in order that they would lose and in return, FXCM would be the beneficiary of some very high kickbacks, which they received under the table from FXCM.

FXCM barred from the U.S.

Because of their duplicitous practices, the CFTC withdrew their regulation and FXCM was no longer allowed to service U.S. customers. Additionally, FXCM was caught by the FCA in yet another forex scam. They took away their investors’ positive swaps, causing them to only receive negative swaps. Surprisingly, the FCA did not remove their regulation.

Beware of OTCapital

OTCapital, forex broker regulated by ASIC has been swindling numerous investors. Broker Complaint Registry has received numerous complaints from those who have been victimized by their reprehensible practices. Complaints have ranged from not allowing clients to withdraw their earnings to never receiving a call back after they had deposited. Unfortunately, ASIC has not taken any action against OTCapital.

Protect yourself from a forex scam

Before you deposit money with a broker you must first make sure that the broker is regulated by an entity such as the CFTC, FCA, ASIC or the IIROC. Remember not all regulatory bodies are created equal. For example, if the broker that you are interested in has only a CySEC (Cyprus) regulation it would be wise to steer clear. Although they have gotten tougher on rulebreakers, CySEC is still lax in numerous areas.

Additionally, do your research. This means reading reviews, looking at various forums, and so on. It is not enough that the broker you are interested in has a regulation. You must vet them.

If you were the victim of a forex scam be sure to make a complaint here and we will do our utmost to get back to you as soon as we can.

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Forex

How to avoid a forex scam

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Forex Trading – Is It Legitimate?

Forex (Foreign Exchange) is not a scam and certainly can be a credible and legitimate way of making money. However, whenever there are large sums of money involved, the shadier elements of society are never lagging. There are plenty of nefarious brokers that target novices, experienced traders and everyone else in between.

Forex scams are unfortunately common. At Broker Complaint Registry we have seen many forex, binary options and CFD scams emerge. Here are a couple of things to look out for whether you are an experienced trader or a complete novice.

Regulated Forex Broker?

The very first step to take to avoid becoming a victim of a Forex scam is to make sure you open an account with a regulated broker. There are many dominions that regulate Forex trading including the FCA in the UK, ASIC in Australia, and the CFTC and the NFA in the United States. Do not solely rely what is on the broker’s website.  Check them out online and make sure they are regulated. It is simple to place a regulation on a website so use the resources available to you such as https://register.fca.org.uk/. Be sure to call the forex broker and find out who they are and what they do. Do not get pressured into opening an account unless you are 100% at ease.

However, merely checking to see whether the broker is regulated is not enough. There are numerous regulatory agencies such as CySEC that do not apply strict enough oversight and fail to implement harsh penalties for any brokers that violate their rules.

Guaranteed ROI

Any broker that guarantees a return on investment (ROI) is a surefire scam. For example, a “broker” may be approached to invest your money with an organization that will trade on your behalf and promise yearly or monthly returns for as long as you keep investing with them. Many of these con artists promise 40-50 % of your invested capital guaranteed PER MONTH. These “returns” are absolutely unsustainable and almost always involve other investors continuing to add money to the pot. This is called a Ponzi scheme. Remember Bernie Madoff anyone?

Forex trading is risky and while there are plenty of individuals who can consistently earn money trading, no one will say it is a guarantee.

Fund Withdrawal

If the forex broker or account manager tries to prevent you from withdrawing your funds or your return on investment, then you know that it is a forex scam. There is absolutely no reason that it should take anymore than a few business days for your money to be returned. Even some regulated brokers have refused to allow their clientele to withdraw. Take OTCapital as an example. They are regulated by ASIC, but Broker Complaint Registry has dealt with numerous individuals that have been unable to withdraw their funds.

I am the victim of a forex scam; what can I do?

If you were scammed by a forex broker be sure to fill out this form and we will get back to you. Additionally, be sure to share your experience in the comment section below

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