Investment fraud victims report losing more than £59m to 'Binary Options'
Our reports show that Binary Options fraud appears to be a growing problem. In just the first half of 2017, 697 people reported to have lost over £18 million.
- Total of 2,065 people have reported being a victim of Binary Options fraud to Action Fraud since 2012.
- Victims have reported to have lost almost £60 million.
- The average person loses £22,811.
Operation Broadway, a London-wide intelligence-led drive to uncover and disrupt suspected ‘boiler room’ investment frauds operating out of of the capital, was launched in 2014 by the City of London Police, City of London Corporation Trading Standards, Metropolitan Police, National Trading Standards ‘Scambusters’ Team, HMRC and the Financial Conduct Authority.
Those who fall victim to Binary Options fraud lose an average loss of £22,000.
Protect yourself from investment fraud cold calls
- Never take up offers of investments on the spot from cold calls. To make safe investments, take a look at the Financial Conduct Authority’s ScamSmart warning list.
- Don’t give your bank account details or sensitive information if you get an unsolicited call.
- Boiler rooms tend to target people over 65. Talk to elder family members and vulnerable people you care for to make sure they know how to spot bogus investments.
Protect yourself against Binary Options fraud
- If you’re considering any type of investment, always remember: if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
- If you get a call out of the blue from someone offering investment opportunities, reject the offer; if in doubt don’t be polite, just hang up.
- If you think a firm offering binary options may not be trustworthy or legitimate, do not transfer money to them or provide them with your bank details.
- Be mindful of any bonus structures and clauses preventing you from withdrawing funds.
- Make sure you have read and considered conditions set out by the company making it mandatory to “turn over” your original deposit over a multiple amount of times before you can withdraw your money.
- The Gambling Commission advises that UK consumers should research the market carefully before participating in such activities.
- Check whether a company holds an operating license from the Gambling Commission by searching the public register of licensees.
City of London Police’s Chief Superintendent Glenn Maleary, Head of the Economic Crime Directorate, said:
“It is clear that binary options fraud is on the increase and this is the result of opportunist fraudsters who have decided to take advantage of an unregulated market and have done everything they can to defraud unsuspecting investors.
“Throughout this year we have been raising awareness of Binary Options fraud and over the coming days we will be providing more advice on how people can beat the boiler rooms and protect themselves from investment fraud.”
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