Binary Options Around the World
Like a bad virus, the binary options scam is rapidly mutating and adapting on a constant basis. With governments cracking down on fraudulent operations and awareness of this crime wave growing, there are major changes occurring in the world of binary options and Forex trading.
Here are a few international developments that you should know about:
The UK’s Latest Move Against Unregulated Brokers
The United Kingdom has already made strides against binary options fraud, but there is still much work to do. With tens of thousands of people who have already fallen victim to the scam, the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) has expanded their blacklist of illegal and/or unregulated binary options brokers. This move was possible due to the information gathered through past fraud victims, careful analysis of the industry, and partner agencies. With average daily losses amounting to £87,410, the FCA has even posted warnings regarding specific brokers, such as solidcfd.com and Max CFD, on the official FCA website. Hopefully, these efforts will prove effective in both helping people recover their money from these unregulated operations and as a warning sign to any future potential victims.
Belgium’s Binary Bind
Belgium took a monumental step forward as the first European nation to ban binary options trading on its shores, but that doesn’t make the citizens immune to overseas scam brokers. When the FSMA (Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority) banned binary options trading in 2016, Belgian citizens had already lost millions of euros to scammers. The following year did not yield the desired results, as the FSMA reported a 45% increase in complaints of financial fraud, despite the binary ban and the 116 warnings published by the FSMA itself. Although that looks bad at first glance, it is important to take into account how many people were unaware that they had been defrauded before the warnings were released.
Israel’s Newest Frontier for Fraud – Cryptocurrency
With the ban on binary options companies in Israel, Tel Aviv’s booming scam industry has to either evolve or dissolve. Many scammers have already moved their operations over to other countries like Romania, while others have decided to keep their usual method of operations with a slightly different name. The Israeli supreme court recently made a ruling that required banks to allow trading and prohibiting any attempts to limit accounts associated with the industry and Israel’s Tax Authority has published laws regarding profits from cryptocurrency investments. While from an outsider’s perspective it all looks safe enough, there are concerns regarding former binary options scammers pouncing on the opportunity like a wake of vultures. “We’re very concerned about initial coin offerings and cryptocurrencies,” said Israel’s Securities Authority Chairman Shmuel Hauser. “We don’t want this to become the next mutation of binary options or a haven for fraudsters.”
Romanian Investors Beware
With the binary options ban in Israel and fraudsters being afraid of getting real jobs, many Israeli scammers have settled in Romania, establishing unregulated brokerages that operate all over the country. Romanian police and special forces have raided dozens of offices, arresting countless scammers across the nation. Although the scammers are few in Romania’s population of 20 million, the Romanian police recovered 300 hard drives with incriminating evidence against the fraudulent operations, creating a huge advantage in the fight against the newly settled scammers.
The United States Is Cracking Down
Hundreds of Americans contacted the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reporting millions of dollars in losses in 2016 alone. The FBI is now working with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Israeli Police Force to fight these scammers domestically and abroad. So far, the CFTC and the SEC have already gotten tens of millions of dollars in settlements from Banc De Binary CIT Investments LLC in Nevada, Brevspand EOOD in Bulgaria, CIT Investments Ltd in the Marshall Islands, CIT Investments Ltd in Anguilla and A & J Media Partners, Inc in California.
The multi-billion-dollar crimewave may be changing, but many of these fraudulent operations’ days are numbered. Law enforcement officials from twenty different countries met in the Netherlands to discuss the best ways to tackle this issue. The names change, but the tactics remain the same and authorities are taking a firm stand. Nobody knows what the future holds, but it’s safe to say that knowledge is the greatest power against these scammers and public awareness has never been greater.