The Financial Commission, an independent self-regulatory compliance specialist for the financial services industry, is adding a new security layer to its certificates, which now include a QR (quick response) code that can be used to instantly verify whether the certificate is authentic or not.
Under the new system, all certificates issued for its approved members will have a QR code that has an embedded URL, which leads to the webpage where the certificate is hosted on the commission’s official website: https://financialcommission.org.
The move comes because of increasing incidences of brokers submitting fake certificates to their traders and even through their representatives and on their websites, which leads to legal and operational complications. The self-regulatory body noted that recently, representatives of a certain binary options broker used a misleadingly similar logo while promoting services to fraudulently convince investors that it was a member of FinancialCommission.org.
In cases when complaints are filed against a member firm, Financial Commission uses a proven method to process complaints and a decision is delivered by the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC). However, the regulator cannot process complaints against non-members and no further action is taken.
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Earlier in October, the Financial Commission announced that it believes the binary options broker CTOptions and another clone entity have been falsely claiming membership.
The proposed method combats this menace by embedding the QR Code on the certificate. The users then can scan the QR code or follow the associated link to verify if the certificate is hosted by Financial Commission and not by a clone website.
The action enables the verification of the certificate without depending directly on the certificate issuing institute or its warnings. It brings in greater reliability and security in the existing process of issuing membership certificates to industry participants.
Financial Commission Chairman Peter Tatarnikov commented: “As cybercriminals continue to come up with various ways to attempt to clone, mimic, forge, hack and phish for information, we decided to add QR codes as a simple security layer so certificates can be validated by users who can easily cross reference it to a valid page on our website where we host each certificate. We believe this subtle feature can easily help users prove whether a certificate is authentic and we encourage all members and those who received certification or membership certificates to use the new QR code stamped certificates immediately.”