The Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”) issued a warning to the public today, reminding Québec consumers to be cautious about schemes by unregistered foreign companies encouraging them to invest in binary options via online trading platforms.
According to the local law, offering investment services or products, whether from an online 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.
The provincial financial regulator says it is particularly concerned about schemes that specifically solicit investors who have lost money or who have been unable to recover their money after investing via unauthorized online trading platforms in the past few months. In some cases, callers even claim that they have been mandated by a regulator, such as the AMF, to help investors recoup a specific amount of the money recently lost by trading on an unregistered platform.
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Interestingly, the AMF also says it has recently become aware that material from its website was copied by a company claiming to be mandated by a foreign regulator to administer a compensation fund. This company’s website is no longer available.
The provincial financial regulator has added four new unauthorized trading platforms to its warning list this time, including ForexTime, eToro, 4XP, FXObank and GMTInvest. Below is the AMF’s updated list of websites that are not authorized to offer investment products and services in Québec. The platforms most recently identified as suspicious are shown in bold. The list is routinely updated when new unauthorized sites are brought to the AMF’s attention.