Thousands of British people have lost millions of pounds to an international scheme that is sold as an investment opportunity but in reality is a gamble or straight-up scam.
The sale of what is known as binary options involves betting on the rise and fall of financial assets (shares, currencies, commodities). It is a highly risky venture even if bets are legitimately placed. That is because for many companies, binary options act primarily as a vehicle for scamming people out of money.
Victims are targeted by salespeople in call centers abroad who use high-pressure tactics to convince them to invest, commonly located in Israel and Romania. They are then given the illusion that their investment is growing as bets are placed but they are unable to cash out their profits when they want to. In some cases, people in the UK have also had thousands of pounds taken out of their credit cards without consent.
Binary option companies use software that allows clients to check their purported account activity online, showing their funds rising and falling as the bets are supposedly made. They exist all over the world, making billions by operating a fraud and being fully aware of it. The salesman is urged by bosses and management to financlially “rape the clients”.
While other countries have banned this business, a regulatory loophole has left UK victims completely unprotected; despite police saying it is now the biggest fraud in Britain. The business is not overseen by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) because it is classed as gambling and the Gambling Commission only regulates operators that have equipment based in Great Britain.
Written by DFGR Research Team
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