Caution regarding on-line trading platforms
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Montréal – The Autorité des marchés financiers (the “AMF”) is cautioning Québec investors about the use of Internet-based trading platforms, primarily in the currency markets (also known as FOREX), and the use of binary options. The work carried out by the AMF cybersurveillance team and the complaints received from investors who believe they have been defrauded through this type of trading over the past few months indicate the increasing popularity of platforms that nonetheless carry significant risks.
Offering investment services or products, whether on the Internet, from an electronic platform or in person, is a regulated activity. Any person or company offering investments must be registered with the AMF.
The AMF is therefore providing investors with a list of websites which are not authorized to offer such investment products and services. The AMF will publish updates to this list when new unauthorized sites are brought to its attention. Check our Investor Warnings section regularly to make sure you have the most up-to-date list. This list is not exhaustive; always check whether the person or company with whom you are considering investing is duly authorized.
Unauthorized trading platforms are sometimes associated with fraudulent schemes. The consequences of these schemes can include denial of access to the accounts and assets of certain clients and even identity theft.
Binary options – “All or nothing” options
Binary options are a type of option where the investor faces two possible outcomes when his investment matures: either he receives a pre-determined cash payout or he loses his investment, hence the term “all or nothing” options. Binary options available on the Internet are often traded in the currency markets and carry significant risks for the average investor.
Currency market risks
The AMF reminds consumers that the currency market, also known as FOREX, is complex and volatile. It is intended for investors who have the knowledge, time and resources to track it. Investors who do not have the knowledge and time needed to trade in this market could incur significant losses.
Visit the AMF website for other advice on how to prevent fraud.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (the “AMF”) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec’s financial sector.
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