Binary options - Suspicious schemes target Quebeckers
Thursday, May 07, 2015
Montréal – The Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”) is urging Québec consumers to exercise caution given the recent rise in the number of suspicious schemes by unregistered foreign companies encouraging them to invest in binary options via on-line trading platforms.
“In the past few weeks, AMF investigators, in particular the cybersurveillance team, noticed that companies based mainly in Cyprus, the Virgin Islands and the United Kingdom were using tactics that seem to target Quebeckers,” said Jean-François Fortin, Executive Director, Enforcement. “Our investigators discovered web banners with special offers for Québec investors as well as demo accounts posting lots of profits, which is quite unusual,” he added.
“Binary options are a sort of “wager” where investors bet on the performance of an underlying asset, often a currency, stock index or share, usually in a short period of time. When that period is up, the investor receives a pre-determined payout or loses his wager. It’s an “all or nothing” proposition,” explained Mr. Fortin.
Unauthorized binary options trading platforms are sometimes associated with scams. Quebeckers should be very careful when trading on these platforms, as the consequences can be serious, such as difficulty recovering money and even identity theft.
New potential victims
“It appears that a few of these companies were running multiple platforms. Some consumers who opened accounts, submitted personal information, made investments and lost money, are now being hounded to invest via a new platform. The callers speak French, and attempts are made to obtain credit card numbers. It is important that the public be on their guard,” concluded Mr. Fortin.
Some companies even claim that a regulator, such as the AMF, has mandated them to help investors recoup a specific amount of the money recently lost by trading on an unregistered platform. They ask them to open an account on a new trading platform.
On-line derivatives trading: A regulated activity
New platforms identified
The list is updated when new unauthorized sites are brought to the AMF's 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
The Autorité des marchés financiers (the “AMF”) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.
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