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binary options online trading scam

Binary Options Scams Hurting Australia

Binary Options & other investment scams hit $340 million in 2017 in Australia

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has come out with a report stating that Australians forfeited more money to fraudsters in 2017 than in any other year. According to the ACCC’s yearly Targeting scams report, over 200,000 or so con reports were given to the ACCC, Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) and other national and regional-based government organizations in 2017.

$40 million scam surge from 2016-2017

Never has it been this bad. Losses to scams have totaled more than $300 million for the first time ever, which demonstrates the growing impact of scams on Australians. Investment scams including binary options and forex led all losses at $64 million, a rise of more than 8 percent. Dating and romance scams came in second topping out $42 million.

Despite the fact binary options scams appear to have reduced in 2017 the average loss reported actually increased by a whopping 24%, from $32,744 to $43,085. This means that while there were fewer of them, these online trading scams became more effective at extracting large sums of money from victims. While binary options are not illegal per se in Australia, there are numerous professional looking offshore trading websites offering binary options investments that are complete scams.

Binary trading first appeared on the scene a decade ago around the time of the financial crisis in 2008. Many victims are lured in through adverts posted on social media and are attracted to the simplicity of the schemes. Despite the fact there are regulated binary options brokers they should be classified as gambling at best and not true investments.

How can I protect myself against binary options scammers?

For those who live in the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s financial ombudsman, is responsible for the regulation of binary options companies. There are hundreds of companies on its warning list, and traders are instructed to check the FCA Register to see if a firm is authorized before investing money. They approximate that investors lost nearly £90,000 a day in 2017 on binary options scams.

If you choose to trade in binary options you should only use an FCA approved broker. If you use an unregulated company you will be more at risk of a scam and won’t have access to their help if things go wrong. You can check if a company is registered with the FCA here. No matter which country you reside in be sure to check the regulatory agency to see whether the online trading company is licensed to solicit their services.

I am the victim of a binary options scam, what do I do?

If you were the victim of a binary options trading scam be sure to make a complaint and we will do our utmost to help you get your money back.

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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 online trading

Facebook in Trouble Over Binary Options

Facebook under fire over binary options ads featuring Martin Lewis

One of the United Kingdom’s leading fiscal and consumer advice journalists filed a lawsuit against Facebook this week for allowing binary options and cryptocurrency ads containing his image that has ultimately caused unsuspecting consumers to lose their money.

Just three months after Facebook proclaimed it was outlawing all adverts for binary options, cryptocurrencies, and ICOs (initial coin offerings), well known British journalist and the founder of Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis is suing the company for defamation. The social media giant allowed paid Facebook ads, which promoted binary options to use his image. Individuals who clicked on the adverts and left their contact details complained that various binary options brokers contacted them.

Unfortunately, having the image of a famous person such as Lewis gives these fraudulent online trading companies an air of legitimacy. Most of the time these deceptive ads link to various imitation websites that are often designed to look exactly like genuine publications such as the BBC or CNN. One fictitious site even generated a video fabricating an endorsement from leading physicist Stephen Hawking to solicit its illegal services.

Lewis, when interviewed by Sky News stated “Enough is enough. It’s about time Facebook took responsibility. This is about stopping Facebook facilitating the ripping off of vulnerable people and destroying my reputation at the same time.” Additionally, he stated that he was aware of one particular woman who lost over 100 thousand pounds due to a fraudulent binary options advertisement with his image plastered on it.

A nightmare for Facebook

The lawsuit has the potential to turn into a nightmare for the social media titan since it is claiming that Facebook must be liable for all content that appears on their pages. A number of British analysts have stated that if Lewis wins his Facebook lawsuit, it could be in line for numerous other claims pertaining to what appears on their platform.

When pressed for a comment as to whether it would take into consideration the possibility of using its facial recognition limit the increasing number of unlawful deceptive ads featuring high-profile individuals, Facebook was unresponsive.

Take against binary options brokers

If you were the victim of a binary options scam be sure to fill out our complaint form: https://brokercomplaintregistry.com/binary-options/. Additionally, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you can help spread the word and put these scammers out of business.

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binary options online trading scam

Canada’s Binary Options Problem

Canada’s recurring binary options problem

Approximately seven months ago the Canadian financial regulatory authorities enacted a ban on brokers offering binary options to all retail traders. Unfortunately, these actions seemed to have had little to no results on certain brokers that have implemented new tactics in order to gather money from unsuspecting investors.

On April 12th the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, more commonly referred to the IIROC cautioned Canadian traders not to be duped by fraudulent online trading brokers attempting to unlawfully sell binary options under the pretense of legitimate brokers regulated by the IIROC.

Binary options scams still exist

Recently the ombudsman has been made aware of at least two brokers that misleadingly state that they are regulated by IIROC:

  • CFDtradeoption.com – run by Westrade Holdings, Inc;
  • Globaloptionsmarket.net.

Binary options cannot be offered or sold to retail traders in Canada and the regulator has issued plenty of warnings, imploring Canadian citizens not to invest in these fraudulent companies. Under no circumstances are IIROC regulated entities authorized to sell binary options to retail investors in Canada.

This troubling tendency is bringing up concerns about how effective a blanket ban on offering of such toxic products as binaries to stop scams. ESMA, the European Securities and Markets Authority has recently put in rules that prohibit regulated brokers from offering binary options to retail investors. However, these recent developments in Canada call into question on whether a ban in Europe would, in fact, produce the wanted effect.

Opposition to the binary options ban

It should be noted that when the Canadian regulatory authorities first suggested to ban binary options, the proposal encountered stern opposition. The Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC), which represents 130 Dealer Member firms regulated by IIROC, asserted that the injunction should only include binary options scams offered by unregulated binary options brokers. The IIAC further maintained that its members should be allowed to offer binary options to retail traders.

Interestingly enough there have been proposals to allow trading binary options on an exchange, as this is allowed in the United States. However, opposed to that line of thinking are organizations such as the Canadian Advocacy Council for Canadian CFA Institute Societies (CAC), which heavily supported the binary options ban proposal and even went beyond it by questioning the status of OTC (Over the Counter) or more commonly known as retail Forex trading. The council questioned whether the sale of similar financial instruments to retail investors should additionally be restricted.

Get help now

If you were the victim of binary options or any online trading scam be sure to fill out our complaint form here and one of our representatives will get in touch with you.

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binary options online trading

Google Play to Ban Binary Options

Google Play set to ban binary options

Google Play recently came out with new updates and policies for April 2018 spanning over a number of topics including hate speech, child endangerment, user produced content, fantasy sports apps, and app metadata. Additionally, included in the April memo was a short note concerning “a new policy on Binary Options”, in which Google play states the following:

“We do not allow apps that provide users with the ability to trade binary options.”

Last summer, after coming under intensive scrutiny from financial ombudsman across the globe, including ASIC of Australia and Canada’s several regional regulators, Google acted against a number of financial-related apps providing either unlicensed services, or apps that were known to promote dishonest behavior. Most of that “action” included removing numerous Binary Options trading apps linked to unlicensed and unregulated “offshore” firms. However, there was never a blanket ban against those types of apps. Regulated brokers providing Binary Options trading could remain on Google Play until now.

Apple, however, passed a complete ban on Binary Options apps at around the same time in its App Store. Last month, after increased pressure from various regulators Google AdWords issued a ban on all Binary Options associated ads, as part of a new controlled financial products procedure. Additionally, Google banned all crypto and ICO ads, and in June 2018 it will demand prior advertiser certification for running ads pertaining to other types of financial trading products including Contracts for Difference (CFDs) and spot forex. It comes as no surprise that Google Play is now taking similar action by instituting a blanket ban on Binary apps.

Is the end of binary options?

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that Binary Options trading – even when regulated – will not be able to make a comeback. Leading European regulator ESMA is additionally preparing a Binary Options ban. This comes as it is in the midst of enacting new laws governing leveraged and online trading. The new regulations are scheduled to come into effect across the EU later this year.

The new Google Play binary options policy for April 2018 can be seen here.

Contact us today

If you were the victim of a binary options or any online trading broker Broker Complaint Registry can potentially assist you. Get into contact with us here.

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binary options online trading scam

Beware of Recovery Scams

Secured Trade Investment: The latest recovery scam

For those who were the victims of online trading scams it is as one scam victim said to me, “living in never-ending nightmare”. Many do not know where to turn. For those who seek help, there is another sinister scam that has reared its ugly head: Recovery scams. Preying on those who were victimized, they actively solicit their fraudulent services, often with a guarantee that they can recover the lost funds. One company, in particular, is Secured Trade Investment.

It never ends

This “recovery” firm is the latest scam to further add a black mark on the online trading industry. They convince individuals that have been scammed by binary options brokers in particular that they can recover their stolen funds. However, in reality, that is just a ruse. Almost always, they demand a heavy upfront fee and do nothing, which means a second loss for the victim.

Made-up team members and fictitious testimonials are the most misleading elements found on the site. Supposedly Owen Beamont is the CEO and Mathew Macleod is the Assistant Manager of Secured Trade Investment but research has shown that both of these individuals do not exist.  These two invented identities are nothing more than images generated from an online image bank.

When viewing the contact information on the website we are given two separate addresses, the first being 7 Triton Square, Regent’s Place, London NW1 3HG UK. Unsurprisingly, when this address is entered into a Google search query the company that matches this address is not Secured Trade Investment. Additionally, the second address, 1270 E Broadway Rd, Tempe, AZ 85282 is associated with a different business

What is most disturbing about Secured Trade Investment is that they seem to be directly conspiring with the very same fraudulent forex and binary options brokers. Numerous individuals have told us that Secured Trade Investment had their information before they submitted their claim.

Take action today

It is without a shadow of a doubt that Secured Trade Investment is an online trading recovery scam. If you were the victim of any recovery scam be sure to let us know and we will do our best to assist you. Additionally, if you have any suspicions about any recovery service be sure to alert Broker Complaint Registry.

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binary options online trading scam

FCA Flags Binary Options Broker

Binary options broker PlusOption caught by FCA

A few weeks ago on the 12th of March, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) provided the public with information pertaining to an unregulated ‎binary options broker, Plusoption, operating under several brands, which have been providing professional ‎investment services to UK residents without regulatory authorization.‎

No FCA License

The ombudsman warned that Plusoption has no association of any kind with any FCA-licensed entity. Additionally, they mentioned that it specifically operated and targeted UK citizens without a license.

Plusoption runs through www.plusoption.com and has implemented numerous associated brands including Redfield Markets, Tradeplus Solutions Ltd and ACV Operations S.R.L. The FCA cautions that this is a prototypical move for a fraudulent company to gain the confidence of unsuspecting consumers.

The FCA has been very active in cracking down on binary options and in addition to issuing regular warnings, it published in January a list of 94 firms that offer trading to UK investors without approval.

In step with practices across most of the European Union, the FCA has incorporated certain kinds of binary options within its regulatory perimeter together with the implementation of the MiFID II, which came into play back on January 3, 2018.

The binary options blacklist

The watchdog keeps a “blacklist” of binary option brokers based upon evidence received from customers, various partner agencies and from monitoring the online market.

Further action implemented

It is important to note the FCA is not the only government agency to move against binary options. In what the UK police categorized as the largest operation of its kind, officers pounced on the headquarters of 20 binary options brokers in order to examine their compliance forms and gather intelligence on various forms of investment fraud.

More than 80k Pounds a day lost to binary options

The ombudsman’s research in this area discovered the majority of investors who trade in binary options lose their funds and that traders lost an average of £87,410 per day over the duration of 2017.

Broker Complaint Registry has received numerous complaints pertaining to this broker If you are the victim of a binary options or any online trading scam be sure to file a complaint today.

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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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binary options online trading scam

Sweden Tackles Binary Options

Online trading schemes are rampant in Sweden

Binary options fraud was among the top concerns of the Swedish financial regulator Finansinspektionen in 2017 (FI). According to its annual report for 2017 binary options were among the primary reasons for issuing warnings in Sweden over the past year and a bit.

In 2017, the FI published warnings pertaining to approximately 1,129 financial companies that conduct their operations in the Swedish market without proper regulation and oversight. Although these warnings primarily targeted equity-related fraud, they additionally included numerous binary options  schemes. FI made a decision after receiving 18 cases. Most of the warnings were came from foreign agencies.

Binary Options, a problem across Europe

The numbers are in line with recent data provided by other regulators in Europe. For instance, Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) reported in February that it received 1,710 notifications from consumers about various financial matters in 2017, up 13% compared to 2016. Nearly half of the inquiries were questions or complaints relating to fraud and unlawful offers of financial products and services. There were 792 such messages in 2017, up by 45% compared to the previous year.

The messages reporting fraud or unlawful offers primarily concerned binary options, boiler rooms, pyramid and Ponzi schemes and ‘phishing’. New issues in 2017 included credit fraud, virtual currencies, and diamond investment fraud. The FSMA released over 115 warnings last year, a 70% increase from 2016. Additionally, the FSMA put out 46 warnings concerning boiler rooms, and 42 about fraud related to binary options.

Although the Swedish watchdog does not layout any specific plans pertaining to binary options, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is strongly considering banning these instruments. ESMA wants to pass a law prohibiting anyone or company from promoting, distributing or selling binary options to retail clientele.

Other countries are taking action

Even Norway, which is not a member of the European Union but is a part of the EEA, is planning to enact strict procedures pertaining to binary options. The Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway (Finanstilsynet) demands that advertising, selling and distribution of binary options to non-professional clients in Norway or from Norway is forbidden. The watchdog stresses that on several occasions, it has investigated foreign binary options providers that have targeted Norwegian investors without a proper license. Finanstilsynet notes that these companies employ ultra-aggressive marketing approaches and fail to mention the necessary risk warnings.

Contact us

If you have been scammed by an online trading broker, be sure to file a complaint here and we will do our best to get back to you as quickly as we can.