Don’t Let Them Mislead You – It’s All Smoke and Mirrors
Challenging binary options scams can be very complex and mistakes can cost you. Finance Watchdog analyzes your case and assists you throughout the entire recovery process.
In the first two decades of the 21st century the internet became Ground Zero for binary options scams and binary options fraud.
Perhaps what first drew you to their website was a pop-up ad. Or a social media post. You clicked and found an attractive, professional -looking presentation promising you:
- A quick, profitable return
- A huge immediate bonus just for joining
- An easy-to-manage online binary options platform
You signed up and soon their representatives contacted you. They introduced themselves as your “brokers.” And then you transferred funds, most likely using your Visa® or Mastercard.® Soon, you found yourself trading stocks or foreign currencies, indices and commodities. To help you out, your “broker” courteously provided personal coaching. And timely recommendations. (Real brokers cannot do that because it’s patently illegal).
While legitimate, government-regulated online brokerages do exist, there are many more unregulated firms – especially those offering binary options – whose operators based their business models on swindling unsuspecting and inexperienced investors over the internet.
It’s a Video Game
You assumed the unregulated firm’s state-of-the-art internet site would allow you to trade. Actually, it’s nothing more than a video game. The binary options platform it features does not follow obligatory trading rules and procedures. In fact, it’s not even plugged into a true market exchange. The gains you supposedly made and the losses you supposedly suffered, are all imaginary. Nothing more than smoke and mirrors intended to convince you it’s for real. Oh, and that bonus you supposedly received? It was just as imaginary as everything else.
What Happens with Your Money?
Unregulated brokers promise you that they deposit your money in a segregated bank account. They like to think that they will prove their integrity and convince you that they guarantee your access to your funds. However, no such personal account exists. That also is a fiction. Your money went straight into their own bank account instead.
Sure, they promised that you could withdraw your money whenever you want. But you will soon find out that’s easier said than done. Some firms will ignore your requests to access your funds outright. Others will bounce you back and forth between different departments in order to exasperate you. To the point when you’ll just give up. And then there are those that will point to the small print on the Terms & Conditions page. Squint your eyes and you will see that you agreed to first reach an unattainable amount of trades. Or repay that huge bonus they gave you before you even apply to withdraw your money. Or both.
A Binary Options Scam by Any Other Name Is Still a Scam
For about ten years, online binary options scams were ubiquitous. The damage they inflicted on consumers was enormous. In response, a growing number of countries banned binary options trading by retail investors. In 2018 the European Union (EU) enacted a temporary ban as well. It renewed that ban on an ongoing basis until July 1, 2019. By then the last online binary options site registered in the EU finally shut itself down. In addition, Google and Facebook ceased accepting ads linked to binary options sites. These actions, as welcome as they were, however, merely encouraged many operators of phony binary options sites to re-brand themselves. They now claim to be online forex brokerages and even private banking firms.
Beware. The terminology changed but the scam remains the same.