Binary Options Scams: Warnings Issued by Government Agencies

Australia

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC)

Don’t be lured into binary options scams

Once invested in the scheme, victims have reported that their money begins to disappear quickly. When they try to withdraw from the scheme, they find it impossible to get their money out of the account. The scammer does everything they can to keep the victim in the program but inevitably they stop taking the victim’s calls and, after a short period of time, it is common for the firms to disappear.

Canada

Canadian Securities Administrators/Autorités canadiennes en valeurs mobilières (CSA/ACVM)

Binary Options are NOT an option for Canadians

No individuals or firms are registered to sell binary options in Canada. This fact should be a clear warning to stay away from them. The majority of binary options operations are based in out-of-reach places overseas with few or no financial regulations. It’s common for firms offering fraudulent binary options to hide from authorities, regulators, and their victims with a variety of aliases and misdirection techniques.

European Union

European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)

Warning about CFDs, binary options and other speculative products

These products carry a very high level of risk. They are not standardised and the specific features of the products can be different from one provider to another, including for example in relation to the terms, conditions and costs involved. Studies performed by some national supervisors show that in most cases, retail clients speculating in CFDs, binary options or other speculative products lose the money they have invested. However, notwithstanding these features, in many cases, these products are widely advertised to the retail mass market across the European Union, often via online platforms. Furthermore, it has been observed that these products are also being offered by unauthorised and unregulated entities which further adds to the risk of investor detriment.

France

Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF)

AMF Issues a Public Warning Against the Activities of Unauthorised Websites Offering Binary Options Trading

In accordance an announcement issued by AMF, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has decided to prohibit the sale of binary options to retail investors in Europe and to restrict access to CFDs due to their complexity and the risk of loss. The AMF reiterates that the purpose of these measures is to achieve the legitimate objective of investor protection and encourages investors to resist certain online trading platforms’ efforts to circumvent and remove the protections put in place by the regulators.

United States

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Investor Alert: Binary Options and Fraud

The first category of alleged fraud involves the refusal of certain Internet-based binary options trading platforms to credit customer accounts or reimburse funds after accepting customer money… The second category of alleged fraud involves identity theft… The third category of alleged fraud involves the manipulation of the binary options trading software to generate losing trades.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Binary Options Fraud – A Warning to the Investing Public

Fraudulent binary options website operators go to great lengths to recruit investors. They advertise their platforms – often on social networking sites, various trading websites, message boards, and spam e-mail – with big promises of easy money, low risk, and superior customer service. Potential investors are also cold-called from boiler room operations, where high-pressure salespeople use banks of phones to make as many calls as possible to offer “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunities.