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Scams using binary options are unfortunately quite common, as you can tell from our list of fraud brokers and services. If you are concerned about falling prey, this guide explains how to avoid scams in the UK.
Are Binary Options a Scam?
In short, no. Binaries are, in our opinion, a good product. There are, however, unscrupulous brokers and other service providers out there preying on uninformed traders. This is due to binaries being largely unregulated and unmonitored when they first came to the market – which thankfully has changed a lot in recent years. But with scam artists still out there, what can consumers do to avoid a binary options scams and focus purely on their trading? Read this tutorial on scams and only trade with trusted brokers!
A scams list may not actually be that useful though – operators are closing and re-opening so often that maintaining the list becomes a full time job. A better choice for consumers is to spot the warning signs, and if there are any doubts at all – simply move on to another provider. A list of scams can only protect you from threats that exist today – learning how the con artists operate and mislead consumers can keep you safe for years to come.
There are a number of methods by which the scams associated with binary options will try and make money. There are however, also some pretty obvious red flags that can pre-warn consumers that all might not be well. As ever, the old adage “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is” applies. If you have encountered any of the below, I would advise treading very carefully – and if in any doubt, leave that particular broker – there are plenty of legitimate, trustworthy brokers. There is no need to take risks with any company that you may have doubts over.
Top 3 Trusted Brokers
For those that simply want to avoid scams and start trading without reading this whole guide, go with any of these brokers:
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A service called MyChargeBack.com offer a consultancy service to help victims recover their money. They offer a free service to let you know if you have a case. Things like unpaid withdrawals, or unauthorised payments can be claimed via banks or credit card companies, and this firm specialise in dealing with those organisations. The range of services varies based on each case, but they may be able to help:
How to Avoid Scams
Look out for the warning signs listed below!
A reputable broker is unlikely to solicit new business by making cold calls and phoning you out of the blue. It is likely that any call made in this way, will involve unrealistic claims about binary options, and potential profits to be gained from trading them. These might include the promise of immediate, high returns, and downplaying any risk.
In addition to telephone calls, some operators may also email directly, in some cases, suggesting an account has already been opened. Any of these methods of getting in contact is an immediate warning sign. Hang up, and delete any mails.
One source of frequent issues is via deposit bonuses. Dishonest brokers will often have some extremely unethical terms. These might include tying in the initial deposit until a certain amount of trades have been met (turnover requirements). They will include the initial deposit (not just bonus funds). Effectively making the deposit their money as soon as it is handed over. Be sure to read these terms before taking a bonus, or making a deposit.
This warning includes automated robots and signals, but also managed accounts, where an account manager has promised massive profits. There is an obvious conflict of interest for these account managers. If you make a long term profit, the brokerage makes a long term loss on your account. An account manager, employed by the broker, is very unlikely to have your trading interests at heart. While they may argue otherwise, letting someone else trade for you is very likely to end in losses. These managers can also encourage traders to invest way beyond their means, which is particularly dangerous. Binary options are a high risk / high reward investment. The risks should never be hidden from you by your broker or account manager.
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‘Make Money Online’ marketing
Many of these warning signs are related – this form of marketing again hides the risks – just like the cold callers and account managers. The “Make money online” and “Get rich quick” marketing surrounding binary options is grossly irresponsible. There are numerous websites, with high production videos that look very appealing. They will suggest making money is easy, possibly even suggesting they copy famous investors. These are all scams. Any promotion that hides, or downplays, the high risk nature of binary trading is not being honest. Binary options are not a way to make easy money, and should not be sold this way. This form of advertising for binary options is generally the most dangerous for the consumer. If you encounter marketing of this kind, do not proceed.
A funnel is a website that will drive traffic to a broker. As a visitor to that site, you may not even be aware you have been redirected to a broker. These funnels generally operate the “get rich” marketing described above, but not always. The issue here is that the consumer will be passed to a broker, who they know nothing about. Having visited the funnel, the new customer will get a call from a random broker asking for a deposit. While this may sound odd to those who have not fallen victim to it, the effective selling of the binary options scam by the funnel website, will mean many people are duped.
Some brokers will include a line within their terms along the lines of: “Our prices may not reflect those of the actual market”. Unfortunately it will not be worded as clearly as that, as the implications are obvious – they set their own prices. If the broker is the counter party to any trade, and they also set the prices, it will be very very difficult to ever make a profit with that broker. Clients are trading against the broker, and they decide the closing prices. One of the two parties will make a loss – and it will not be the broker. Research the terms of trading and beware of any references to settlement figures based on anything other than real world prices.
So those are some key warning signs that should make any potential new trader stop and question what they are being told. If you have come across any of the above, identify the broker involved – and trade elsewhere.
In addition, new traders might try and carry out their own ‘due diligence’ on a brand. Even this however, might carry risk. The reason is, as well as the scam operators, there are review sites that are also dishonest. There are a couple of ways that consumers can protect themselves and find the trustworthy reviews. The first method is in looking at the offerings elsewhere on the review site – if other scams are being promoted, then the reviews are not credible. Ask these question of the site:
- Is there a proliferation of robot ads?
- Are there promises of high returns?
- Is there adequate risk disclosure?
- Can you contact the site, or site owners?
The second method is regulation. In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority regulates some binary options brokers. This only happens where the broker offers a form of trading already covered by FCA regulation – Contracts for Difference (CFDs) for example.
The reason this is important is because FCA regulated firms have to be careful about who promotes them too.
If a binary option site lists FCA regulated brands (as we do!), this indicates a level of credibility and protection. That site must be completely honest about the high risk nature of binary options, and it must have accountable individuals, based in the UK who operate it. If it does not, then the FCA firms would not allow their brands to be marketed by them.
Here however, is another level of complexity. Some binary options brokers have sought to register with the FCA. This is not the same as being regulated by them. In order for a firm to be regulated by the FCA, they need to offer additional forms of trading, not just binaries. A brand offering only binary options will not be fully regulated by the FCA. This is because binary options are currently regulated and licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. So the list of binary options brokers regulated by the FCA is actually very small.
FCA List of Unauthorised Brokers
In addition to the services below, the FCA have published a list of firms who are not authorised to trade binary options in the UK. While stopping short of calling them scams, the list provides a picture of firms who are prepared to break the law (by offering unregulated trading). They are almost certainly best avoided. The list can be found here:
The Brit Method
The marketing in use here is an obvious red flag. Videos that suggest over £500k has been made in under a month are about as obvious as it gets. Unfortunately the claims are not true. This is an outright scam, avoid the “Brit Method” or any associated schemes. These include “Jason Taylor” and any “millionaire maker” scheme linked to that name, or the Brit Method.
The Brit Method is a scam that has been used before. Here is what you need to know to protect your money;
What Is The Brit Method?
The Brit Method promises to be a binary options trading strategy that can make you hundreds of thousands of Dollars within a few weeks. Unfortunately, it is the latest reiteration of an old scam.
The Brit Method is nothing new. It previously was called the Aussie Method and the Canuck Method, and each time the site had to close due to its bad reputation. Even the guy who supposedly invented the genius trading style is the same.
It is always the same stock picture, just the name changed from Jake Mason to Jake Pertu and now Jason Taylor.
There are many fake testimonials on the website, but make no mistake all of them are made up statements with stock pictures of people who never heard of the method.
Similarly, all the promises made by the Brit Method are lies. The site essentially promises immediate, unlimited gains, but provides little information on how it wants to accomplish this goal.
The site also promises to get you started for free, which is a lie, too. After you complete your free registration, you are refused access to the system unless you deposit $350. But even if you make the deposit, you still wont have access because there is no system. The money is gone, and you will never see it again.
Avoid the Brit Method at all costs. Also, be aware of all future version of the scam. In all likeliness, there will be a German Method and an American Method and they will very likely to use exactly the same methods to con people.
Again, the sales pitch is an obvious red flag. This is a scam, stay away.
The scam suggests that clients can enjoy wealth by following a method created by Warren Buffet. An investor famous for taking long term positions, this fraud has absolutely no connection with Buffet himself.
The process involved visitors being forced to join a particular broker (another scam tactic explained above) and make a deposit in order to get access to a “system”. No system exists, and traders will not get any funds returned. Avoid.
The good news here is that the Ultimate4Trading website has been blocked for UK visitors. The operation is dishonest and should be avoided.
Another scam which again, is thankfully blocked in the UK. Once again, the promise to “get rich” is at the forefront of the marketing but the whole operation is a scam. To the point which even the website is now a haven for malware. Keep away.
Instagram & Facebook
Many scams promote themselves on Instagram and Facebook. Most will fall into the categories listed above. The mainstream media have also been duped themselves in the past, including the Daily Mail. These promotions or accounts make wild claims of the profits that can be made, backed up with images of flash cars and other trappings of success. It is all a lie and these operations are to be avoided at all costs. If these people really could turn your £2,000 into £8,000 in a week – why would they need to advertise on social media? They could simply make as much money as they needed from the markets and go and spend their time on the beach. Screenshots are easy to fake – and they never need to show the losing trades.
Anything promoting a ‘get rich quick’ route using binary options is untrustworthy, full stop. Remember also that Martin Lewis (of MoneySuperMarket fame) is considering legal action because Facebook are not doing enough to remove ads claiming to be backed by him. To repeat his quote “Martin Lewis does not do ads“. If an advert mentioned him, avoid it at all costs – it is almost certainly a scam.
Below are some brokers for which we have received credible reports of poor customer care, or worse. Again, many of the tactics used are covered in our article on avoiding scams – this list is unfortunately not exhaustive so if any of the actions below sound similar to other brokers you have come across, stay away from them – and let us know.
Many of the worst brokers have been thankfully shut down, but always be aware of using unregulated brands unless you are able to verify their quality. Not all unregulated brands are untrustworthy, but it does mean more ‘due diligence’ is necessary.
Bonus terms lock in the initial deposit until turnover requirements of x30 are met. Your deposits are yours until you choose to trade them. A broker should not block withdrawals of your deposits before it has even been traded. Avoid.
Opteck have now closed for business. The tighter regulations introduced by CySec (who monitored Opteck) have left the firm with no option but to cease trading. Increased regulation is helping the industry by squeezing out the firms that used misleading marketing, or deception, to earn money from clients.
Boss Capital were a popular broker which accepted US traders. A lack of strong regulation enabled them to operate using questionable methods. They are another firm that have closed as a result of improved regulation.
StratX were a firm brought to our attention by a disgruntled customer (see the testimonial page). The firm use cold calls, account managers and make withdrawals very difficult. Not recommended.
Another firm we have received much correspondence regarding is CFDStocks. They employ most of the tactics discussed above, including cold calls. Most contacts we received say an account manager encouraged larger and larger deposits before disappearing.
Ways to Avoid Scam in Binary Options Trading
Binary options are very popular among traders all over the world, and when something is as popular as they are, many scams want to take advantage. It is impossible to prevent scams from entering the market as even the best regulation can’t challenge innovative methods scams and fraudsters are using.
Still, if traders want to trade safely, they can do so by following several easy steps. In this article you will learn:
What are Binary Options Scams?
Binary options scams are usually companies that claim to be legit brokers or auto trading services but are frauds. Once you deposit the money with such company, you won’t see that money again as it is impossible to make a withdrawal with such brokers.
Scam brokers are considered to be those that practice scam tactics in convincing new clients to make a deposit. Such methods include
- Cold calling
- Downplaying the risk
- Using stolen data
In case you receive a phone call or an email from a broker you never registered with. It is best to ignore it. Don’t let them convince you. Scam binary brokers will always claim how something is an exclusive opportunity, just for you, but it is never true.
Also, the fact that a binary broker is using stolen data and can reach you via private means of communication such as email, only shows how shrewd they can be. Do you really want to provide your credit card detail to a company such as that? Probably not.
Also, keep in mind that sometimes you can find out that a broker is a scam only after you made a deposit. For example, they can insist on offering you managed account where you lose all control of your investments. They can make threats, use psychological games and pressure you into making more and more deposits. The broker should never neglect your opinion or manage your investments.
Another thing that is very suspicious and that can indicate that a broker is a scam is the lack of terms and conditions on the website. Terms and conditions not only helps you understand the service better but also offers you an insight into your obligations and procedural elements. If the broker is hiding something, the first sign of a scam is missing terms and conditions. This document is usually very long and complicated, but don’t hesitate to read it and ask for additional explanations.
Terms and conditions explain all about withdrawal limits, procedure, reveal details on how dormant accounts are handled etc. They are also obligatory, unlike the stuff is written on the website. Keep this in mind. Compare the content of the website with content of terms and conditions and if there are too many differences, avoid that broker for your own good.
You want your money to be safe from the very beginning of the trading process and it is much easier to check broker status without involving with scams in the first place.
How to avoid binary options scams?
Binary options scam brokers tend to be very convincing with their promises. They can make you think how they operate in a magic world of binary unicorns where you will become a millionaire.
The first rule of avoiding binary scams is keeping a cold head. If the broker promises something that sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Be realistic and don’t expect to become a millionaire over course of night, no matter how lucrative binary options might be.
The other important rule is to read news and reviews so you know what is going on in financial markets. Objective 3rd party reviews can help you in avoiding scams, and regulatory bodies often issue warnings on different types of frauds, including binary scams. Of course, keep in mind that sometimes regulatory bodies react to little too late, so look for other suspicious signs as well. Avoiding scam brokers requires some effort.
There is also a solution of trading only with regulated brokers. Regulatory bodies all over the world issue licenses for binary options brokers. Even though sometimes regulated brokers turn out to be scams, mostly because of changes in the ownership structure that might affect the way they operate their business.
Also, you can checklists published by your local regulatory body, but keep in mind that sometimes regulators tend to be slow in detecting scams. They sometimes issue a warning on a broker that is long gone or that has already scammed many customers. The best way to read about scams is to be focused on specialized media that will give you fresh information and introduce you to reliable brokers.
What to Do After Depositing with a Scam?
Ok, let’s imagine the worst-case scenario. Imagine you made a deposit with a scam binary broker. What now?
First, it is important not to deposit any more money with that scam broker! There is a high chance the broker will call you and ask for more money but don’t do it. Every dollar deposited is a dollar lost.
Next thing you should do is request a withdrawal. There is a high chance your scam broker will say it is not possible if you don’t deposit a certain amount. Ignore it and request the withdrawal again. If necessary ask for legal advice and let the broker know you are not alone. Research other cases with your broker on online forums and see how other people got their money back. Of course, if you are trading with a broker that offers bonuses, keep in mind that in case you accepted a bonus, you have a specific trading volume you must reach before making a withdrawal.
You can also contact your local regulatory body and ask for help. Don’t forget to contact the regulatory body where the broker is licensed, in case they have a license. They can do necessary steps and revoke the license and prosecute the broker if needed.
Act fast and don’t let the broker waste your time. Make sure to keep all correspondence and make a screenshot of your trading account in every stage of withdrawal. Often, scam brokers close the accounts without prior notice, but this way you have evidence that can be crucial in your case.
Scams and Blacklist
Scams are unfortunately all too common in the field of binary options. Dishonest brokers and reviews, or rigged robots and other auto trading services – the scams can come in many forms. So we feel it’s necessary to create this blacklist and list all known frauds and dishonest techniques in one place. We also go through the steps you can take to identify a potential scam and how to deal with the situation after the fact if you’re already a victim. If you know or suspect something is a scam, and we’re missing it on our blacklist, please let us know and we will look into it!
Why Are Stories of Scams So Common?
When any new financial instrument or form of trading first emerges, a whole range of businesses tend to get involved. It’s a fact of life that some of those product providers are going to be more trustworthy than others. This is certainly true of binary options. It is, after all, an accessible and popular method for individuals to trade the markets. What’s more, at least in their early days, binary options trading platforms tended to operate under the radar of the regulators and from any country over the internet – so it’s hardly surprising that unscrupulous operators seek to take advantage. Thanks to better regulation, a strong online trader community and honest reviews, it’s now a lot easier to tell a scam from a legitimate broker. But as with any international online marketplace, there are still some shady outfits who will leave you with less than you bargained for. So what are red flags to look out for? Here are the points to consider as you go about choosing your binary broker.
MyChargeBack.com are a company who specialise in helping binary fraud victims recover their money. They liaise with bank or credit card firms in order to get charge backs made to reclaim deposits. They will tell you if you have a valid claim via a free consultation.
Are Binary Options A Scam?
The term “scam” covers a wide range of behaviour, from providing misleading information to lure you in, through to vanishing account balances – and even dishonest trading advice. Likewise, a particular broker might not be technically fraudulent in its behaviour; it’s just that the service available on the platform (such as highly unreliable uptime or failure to reimburse funds in a timely manner) means that this is a broker that really ought to be avoided.
In all of these cases, the problem isn’t with binary options as a concept, it’s with the broker.
So it’s a matter of doing your homework before you commit to any particular platform. User reviews can be helpful (if they are genuine), but always treat such reviews with scepticism – and never make a decision on the basis of testimonials published on the broker’s website. Even trader forums can be problematic – look closely and you’ll often find that the forum is an offshoot of a particular broker’s website. Independent, thorough and comparative reviews are the safest way to ‘scam-check’ a broker. Ideally, focus on review sites that allow and encourage real-life users to get in contact and report and problems with particular brokers, so you can be sure that what you are reading is up to date.
Trusted Brokers in Russia
Below is an always up-to-date list of our top 3 trusted brokers. You can find a list of all the brokers we recommend here.
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) does now regulate binary options. They have already created a list of unauthorised firms. While they are not calling them scams, they are making it clear that these firms are breaking the law by trading with UK visitors – so they are best avoided. The full list can be found here: FCA Unauthorised List
By contrast, the USA along with most other EU countries do regard binary options as financial products. Depending on where they are based, many platforms will, therefore, be subject to oversight from a regulatory body. Examples include the CFTC in the US and CySec in Cyprus. A platform’s regulatory status can be a highly valuable trust-indicator for traders seeking to avoid scams. It shows that the broker has to abide by certain minimum standards when it comes to service and transparency.
Marketing “Too Good To Be True”
Taken in isolation, the act of placing a trade should be a straightforward one; and indeed, the usability of a platform tends to be a big selling point for brokers. Although this aspect of binary options is “easy”, it’s something quite different to claim that profits are guaranteed. Realising a profit through regular trading requires knowledge of how markets behave, the ability to read market conditions and an understanding of strategy. If the risks are downplayed – or outright false assertions are made (along the lines of “95% trades are successful”), these are false assurances. It’s a sign that the broker may be less than scrupulous in other important areas and that the platform ought to be given a wide berth.
Terms and conditions
Transparency is essential. Read the smallprint, and be especially wary of needlessly convoluted procedures for withdrawal of funds. Terms regarding your initial deposit can be another source of contention; for instance, if you are denied access to the deposit until a certain number of trades are made – so your money is tied to the platform from the moment it is handed over. This deposit retention is often part of wider terms associated with a ‘bonus’. CySec have sought to ban these sorts of terms by stopping the use of ‘deposit match’ bonuses. Non-CySec brands are still free to use them however, so T&C’s must always checked.
These tend to fall into two categories. The first is where you are called out of the blue and invited to sign up to a particular platform. The second occurs where you are already tied to the platform and you receive a call (or email) from a “senior broker” pointing you in the direction of particular trades. Reputable brokers do not need to make cold calls. Bear in mind “cold calls” might include emails too – any form of unsolicited approach should be considered a “cold” contact and be treated with extreme suspicion.
You should always be clear about who you are dealing with. In some situations, you might visit what appears to be an actual broker’s site, click the link to sign up only to be redirected to another broker. Alternatively a trading “service” may dictate that you use only their recommended broker. These “funnel” sites are sometimes used as a front by brokers with a poor reputation, or are working alongside them to dupe visitors (often using the misleading marketing mentioned above). A good broker will be upfront about its identity from the outset.
It’s one thing for a broker to give you access to the data and analysis tools to work out your own strategies (in fact, this is one of the signs of a great platform). It’s quite another for that broker to also offer trading advice. After all, with ‘over the counter’ binary options brokers, you are betting against the house; if the ‘house’ is making the trading decisions for you, it’s hardly likely that those decisions will be in your best interests. This form of “upselling” is often the most lucrative for the broker, and is usually the where traders lose the most. Encouraged by an “account manager”, traders are advised to deposit beyond their means and to over trade. On occasion large accounts will be wiped out in hours. The “advice” goes against any sound money management, and increases risk hugely. Always take responsibility for your own trades. Never allow a broker to make trading decisions for you.
There has to be a fair and transparent benchmark against which the broker sets its prices. This benchmark should be what’s happening in the real world; i.e. real-time market prices. If the broker reserves the right to set its own prices, you can assume that those figures will be skewed against you; in other words, a loaded deck.
Scam Brokers and Not Recommended Operators
The brokers listed below have generated a lot of complaints both directly and on the forum. The disputes vary from upselling and encouraging traders to over trade, to non-payment of withdrawals and price manipulation. There is little recourse for traders to raise a dispute with unregulated brokers, so it is generally advised that you look for trusted binary options brokers – preferably regulated in your own country where possible. “Scam” has become widely used as a term to refer to any form of poor service, but it should be noted that many of these brokers may have done nothing dishonest or illegal, but have attracted higher than normal levels of complaints. If in doubt, trade elsewhere. There are plenty of honest brokers out there.
Robot And Signal Scams
These signal providers, or robot services, are either scams or not recommended for other important reasons.
Instagram And Facebook
Beware of scams operating on social media. Again, binaries are not a get rich quick scheme. There are a huge number of accounts promising to trade on your behalf and turn $2k into $8k in a week. If these claims were true, the people behind them would not need to be running ads or signing people up – they would simply trade themselves.
Screenshots of successful trades are exceptionally easy to get – even genuinely. But these operators are unlikely to even bother trading – once you send them money, it is gone and you will not hear from them again (unless they think they can get you to deposit more). Always select your own broker, and always take responsibility for your own trades – dont let someone else trade on your behalf. If you do not understand binary options, or do not have time to trade – then do not trade at all. These scams often prey on people who lack experience.
What To Do If You’ve Been Scammed
Do you think you’ve fallen prey to a binary options scam? Read on to find out what you can do if you’ve been scammed. There are many ways to help ensure that you don’t fall prey to a scam but the reality is that even if you follow all those tips there is still a possibility you will be scammed. If that happens, what do you do? Do you sit back and take it? Do you give up on trading? No, you need to stand tall and look out for yourself. Trading is good, it is rewarding and can lead to a life in which you don’t have to go to a job and punch a clock. You can’t let the actions of one broker, signal service, robot or guru dissuade you from that path. This article is a look at what you can do if you think you’ve been scammed. It’s likely that once an issue arises you won’t be able to get your profits, it is possible to get back your initial deposit but it might take some work.
MyChargeBack.com are a firm specialising in helping victims of binary options fraud. They help claimants to explain the incident to the bank or credit card company, so that they fully understand what has happened. Some banks are unaware of binary trading and are unwilling to listen to claims. MyChargeBack help in this situation. They have a solid record of recovery from genuine claims.
If you are not yet looking for third party help, here are some steps you can take yourself:
- Document everything. The very first thing to do is to make records of everything you can. This includes the brokers, or SSP’s, terms&conditions, copies of any emails/Skype/live-chat you have had with them, confirmation of your deposit, turnover requirements for bonuses and your trading history. No matter what you do next, this information will be required in order to get satisfaction. What you do next will depend on the type of scam you have fallen prey to.
- Try to withdraw. Broker won’t let me withdraw. Contact the broker and try to find out why they won’t let you withdraw. The most usual reason is that you’ve not sent in the right ID documentation, something required by international law, and is an issue easy to fix. The next most pressing reason why withdrawals are not allowed is due to bonus terms and turnover requirements. If you haven’t met conditions you will not be allowed to make any form of withdrawal which is why you want to keep track of all your trading volume and turnover. If you didn’t accept a bonus in the first place your documentation will help you prove it. A good broker will try to solve your issues, a shady one will give you the run-around.
- Make your voice heard. Broker keeps giving me the run-around. If your broker is giving you the run-around and won’t address your issues the next best avenue for satisfaction is to let the community know what is going on. After all, it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. You can do this by posting complaints, with details, in forums like the one here at Binaryoptions.net. When you do this be sure to let the broker know and send them a link. They may not care, a sign of a shady broker, but when it comes to reliable brokers they will want to address your problems to avoid poor publicity. When posting complaints give as much detail as possible, just saying that a broker scammed you is not enough, proofs of fraud are what get results.
- Contact their payments provider. The broker won’t help, now what? At this point the chances that you have been scammed, and not just suffering from miscommunication, are quite high. If you can’t get satisfaction from the broker you will have to take more drastic measures. If you deposited by credit card this may mean calling the card company and requesting a charge-back. Let them know the initial charge was fraudulent and that the company in question is not returning your contact requests for best results. The Times Of Israel reported that a victim of fraud was able to get a full refund of his deposit after contacting the financial institution that processed the brokers payments. They withheld payments until the broker satisfied the claims.
- Contact the regulator. Time to call out the big guns. The great thing about expanding binary options regulation is that there is an alternative for many traders who think they’ve been scammed, you can contact the regulator. In some cases this can be a challenge as many brokers are located off-shore and hidden behind holding companies and virtual offices so be sure to do your homework. If the broker is regulated contact the agency overseeing them, if they are not regulated contact the agency which oversees financial regulation in your country. If the broker is regulated they will have to address your issue, to the satisfaction of all parties, in order to remain compliant. If they are not regulated at least you can be assured at least they will have a harder time scamming any more people from your country. At best cooperation between regulators could result in the broker being shut down for fraud.
- Be persistent. Shady brokers like to hire people who are good at deflecting questions and complaints, don’t accept what they are telling you. It may take time but eventually you will talk to the right person, or persons, and your case will be addressed. What is most likely to happen is that the combination of your contact requests, forum complaints and charges with regulators will add up to one thing, the broker giving you your money back to avoid a much bigger hassle.
How to Spot a Trading Strategy Scam
The internet is loaded with ads, articles, companies and individuals trying to provide you with the next big trading strategy that will make you rich overnight. Take pause my friend, here are tips to help you spot the scam.
A System or Only a Strategy?
First and foremost, trading strategies aren’t really going to help you become a good trader. What you actually need is an entire system. When you make a trading plan it needs to cover how you will enter markets, exit markets and how you will manage your money. It also needs to tell you under what market conditions you do all these things. That is a system, it tells you everything you need to know about how you will trade. A strategy on the other hand only tells you when to enter and exit, and may not tell you under what conditions it works best or poorly. It also may not provide guidance on position size or whether you can trade multiple assets at the same time – issues which are very important to address. In other words, a strategy may have missing pieces of information you need to be successful. We need a complete trading system…but marketers are smart, so they can easily just call the product they are selling a “system” to make it sound more complete. But is it? Here are several things to watch for which could tip you off the product is probably a waste of money:
A boxed system is one where you don’t get to know how the strategy works – it’s an opaque “black box”. For example, the product may just be a series of indicators or a service that tells you when to trade, but not why. This isn’t going to make you a better trader, because you don’t know what is happening behind the scenes. If a product or signal service stops operating you are left with nothing. Even if you made money with the product/service you have to start from scratch all over again. Make sure if you buy something it explains how it works, so that eventually you don’t have to rely on the product/service.
Extremely High Win Rates
Is it possible to have a 90% win rate? Absolutely, yet it is also possible to lose money with a 90% win rate. Stats are easily manipulated to tell partial truths or fabricate lies. Other popular tactics are saying things like “Made $500 in one day!” So what? That doesn’t actually tell you anything. If that was on a $1,000,000 account then making $500 isn’t so grand. And if they lost $3000 they day before, then making only $500 today and bragging about it is rather paltry. Read between the lines. What isn’t being said? To understand performance you need several bits of information: Account size (capital), percentage return, amount at risk on each trade, amount of profit per trade, win/loss ratio, biggest winner, biggest loser, average winner, average loser, number of trades and period over which the strategy was tested/profitable.
There are also some other metrics that could help you out, but if you ask the company for these bits of information, and they can’t or won’t give them to you, be suspicious. You can usually get a sense of what vulnerabilities and tendencies a system has by looking at the above stats. One of the main things is that the strategy should be tested over a long period of time, and in all market conditions–up trends, down trends, ranges, volatile and sedate conditions. It doesn’t necessarily have to profitable in each of these environments, but it should have at least been traded through them all so you know that the system is profitable overall. Often marketers will only publish results for a period where strategy did very well. But this doesn’t give you a real idea of how the strategy or system works over the long-term.
- Related to stats there is something else you need to consider. If a system is profitable, that result is based on all the trades. If you buy the product or the service, are you going to trade them all? On issue many traders face when subscribing to a signal service is that they don’t trade all the signals. If you don’t trade all the signals then your personal results could be dramatically different than the typical results of the service.
Only One Direction
Avoid a system that only trades in one direction, for example only buys assets but won’t short sell them. Markets rise and fall, you want to participate in both trends.
No Trial Period
You should be able to test a product and be able to cancel without a fuss if the service isn’t for you. Usually a quick trading forum search on Google will reveal what others have shares about a product or service. No trial, no deal. Don’t trust anyone, test things out for yourself. If they won’t let you, then be wary.
Final Words on Identifying Scams
A product or service shouldn’t make you reliant on it. It should show you behind the scenes so that eventually you can trade on your own. Good products will always have customers since there are people who don’t want to do the work themselves, and there are always new traders. There is no reason to make every customer totally dependent. Be wary of stats that are thrown out. Ask yourself what the stats aren’t telling you. Also, if the stats they provide are legitimate, then you’ll need to trade all the signals to take advantage and get results typical of the service. Of course remember though, past performance is not indicative of futures results. That is way it pays to do some homework, and make sure the strategy/system/service/product is based on a long history, and has proven itself profitable over all types of market conditions. Test out a product/system/service before buying it. If they won’t let you try, be suspicious.
Case Study – JV Affiliate Marketers
In this section we will look at how you can avoid being scammed by Binary Options JV Affiliate Marketers. Its not so hard, but requires you to let go of your emotions and examine things in a logical manner, as many of the scammers use emotional greed/fear tactics to get your money. Once you understand this you can quickly and simply save your time and money with these unscrupulous dolts. Some scams are simply comical in how stupid they are, while others can be very well done con jobs that lure you in with seemingly genuine people/systems/reviews which later you find are the exact opposite, as you look at your $0 balance wondering “Where did my money go!?”.
As you will see in the numerous scam videos, all you have to do is “NOT DEPOSIT” then these scams no longer work. So next time you see videos that are of a similar nature, just know they are supporting scam systems/marketers. Understand if they require a deposit they are fly by night and even if they were not they are supporting the scammers by the nature of requiring you to deposit with a new broker. So just refuse to deposit and they go away. Not the same stories kind of stories and promises over and over all to get you to sign-up to their “free” system/bots… They are not free you have to deposit and they get paid on those deposits… So remember limited time/fast money/can’t lose!/just fund your account = don’t do it!
In this image above you can see many of the scam systems are connected to each other on the same servers most often. These JV marketers have tons of these turnkey scams as they are very low maintenance. The reason you see so many of them is after a few weeks of the new story line wares off and becomes boring they will start production on another one and keep it all fresh and new thus avoiding the wrath of their old scams being complained about and those complaints shared with others. If they keep it new they avoid this along with the fact most newbies jump from one scam to another hoping one of these will work, which none of them do because trading is a learned skill/job… So again, understand their stories and how they work, and don’t deposit .
Case Study – Scams on Social Media
Social media is a “perfect” platform for scammers and can be even more insidious and convincing, and unlike the JV marketers these people will talk to you directly, but only to a point. Once they figure they can’t get any more from you or you no longer have value to them, they will un-friend you in a heart beat. The one thing they are all after is your money, so be on the look out for them asking for deposits or sign-ups telling you about amazing profits and opportunities, which will have you end up with empty pockets. Videos such as those used with both “The Green Room” and “FB Wealth Group” will pretend to be traders/friends, while they are really just out to get your money through either signups or even trying to have you pay them directly.
Also – if you see them mention anything MLM (Multi Level Marketing) related, they are trained to lure you in, so run the other way. These people don’t play around and will say whatever is needed to get you to sign-up and invest. There is a 45 minute long interview of a person that was scammed by both “The Green Room” and “FB Wealth Group”. We named it Binary Options Horror Story because that is exactly what it is in all its gory details. If you are new to binary options read, and absorb the above warning signs fully to see how they scammed people out of their money so it does not happen to you. Notice also how the worked with the brokers directly, which implies that they can be directly involved as well.
Scammers will repeat the common element of wanting you to deposit or even asking for money directly and from there you can tell them “no thanks” and make sure to unfriend them.
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