The FCA warns that many bogus trading and brokerage firms claim to be licensed to conduct business in the United Kingdom when in fact they are not. Others may usurp a real firm registration number (FRN), corporate address and names of employees of a legitimate company that is indeed are FCA authorized. These are known as “clone firms.”
Following a series of complaints, South Africa’s Financial Services Board (FSB) has found that a local forex trading platform has been operating even though it never conducted any trading. Approximately 3,000 people had paid 52 million rand into what they believed was a legitimate brokerage but, in reality, was a Ponzi scheme.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) reports that more than 40 Singapore residents have reported losses in excess of $1.7 million after being lured to take part in unregulated binary options trading. One of them lost $693,000 of that total. The smallest sum lost was $250.
Last December, just before Christmas, a Canadian retiree and father of four named Fred Turbide entered his Edmonton, Alberta garage and shot himself to death. He entrusted his entire life savings to an unlicensed and unregulated online binary options broker and lost it all.