"Suspicious Schemes"

Québec Watchdog Warns Against New Scam Targeting Binary Traders

The AMF' cybersurveillance team, noticed that companies based mainly in Cyprus, BVI and UK were using new tactics to target

The Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”) is again urging Canadian traders from Québec to exercise caution when approached by binary brokers. The watchdog says there is a recent rise in the number of suspicious schemes by unregistered foreign companies encouraging clients in the province to invest in binary options via online trading platforms.

Offering investment services or products, whether from an on-line platform or in person, is a regulated activity in Québec. Any company offering trading or investing services in the province must be registered with the AMF and authorized for market derivatives.

“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.

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“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.

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Unauthorized binary options trading platforms are sometimes associated with scams. According to the AMF, 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

According to the watchdog, a new scheme specifically solicits investors who have lost money or who are unable to recover their money after investing via unauthorized online trading platforms in the past few months.

“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.

New Blacklist

Below is the AMF’s updated list of websites that are not authorized to offer investment products and services in Québec. The seven platforms most recently identified as suspicious are shown in bold. The list is updated when new unauthorized sites are brought to the AMF’s attention.

5markets.com
247binary.com
777binary.com
2251ws.com
aaafx.com
accentforex.com
amberoptions.com
anyoption.com
askobid.com
avafx.com
AvaOption.com
avatrade.ca
avatrade.com
bancdebinary.com
bforex.com
binareo.com
financial-advice.com
finexo.com
fioptions.com
forextrada.com
frxbanque.com
fxlite.com
fxntrade.com
gdbrokers.com
gfcmarkets.com
goforex.com
gtoptions.com
icmtrading.com
iforex.com
ilq.com.vn
leaderoption.com
liteforex.org
lite-forex.com
markets.com
netotrade.com
nrgbinary.com
onetwotrade.com
plus500.com
PrestigeBanq.com
stockpair.com
strongoptions.com
sycamoreoptions.com
tradersking.com
traderush.com
triumphoption.com
ufxmarkets.com
vaultoptions.com
xm.com
youtradefx.com
ytfxaffiliates.com
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