Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC)
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.
Canadian Securities Administrators/Autorités canadiennes en valeurs mobilières (CSA/ACVM)
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 Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
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.
Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF)
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.
National Fraud Intelligence Bureau – City of London Police
One convicted fraudster interviewed by the NFIB Proactive Intelligence Team said: “Binary Options are the new investment scam. Platforms are set up all the time to appear legitimate, but are actually fake. Companies operating these fake Binary Trading Platforms make 100% profit – a percentage of which goes to the brokers and the remainder to the rest of the company. Victims who invested never see any returns and when the customers attempt to withdraw funds it’s made very difficult for them to do so and at times the company ignores them completely, ceasing all contact.”
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
Binary options fraudsters often advertise on social media – the ads link to websites that are well-designed and professional looking. The firms operating the scams tend to be based outside the UK but often claim to have a UK presence, often a prestigious City of London address. Scam firms may manipulate software to distort prices and payouts – they then suddenly close consumers’ trading accounts, refusing to pay back their money.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
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)
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.