The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Office of Consumer Outreach and the Securities & Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy are issuing this Investor Alert to warn about fraudulent schemes involving binary options and their trading platforms. These schemes allegedly include refusing to credit customer accounts, denying fund reimbursement, identity theft, and manipulation of software to generate losing trades.
While binary options may be used in theoretical asset pricing, they are prone to fraud in their applications and hence banned by regulators in many jurisdictions as a form of gambling. Many binary option outlets have been exposed as fraudulent. The U.S. FBI is investigating binary option scams throughout the world, and the Israeli police have tied the industry to criminal syndicates. The European Union is publishing regulations that will ban binary options trading. ASIC considers binary options as a “high-risk” and “unpredictable” investment option.