In a previous post, we discussed the topic of binary options (“all or nothing” bets, similar to gambling) and the extreme risks involved with them. This topic is being revisited as it is one that Alberta investors should be aware of as an increasing number of offshore binary options platforms are currently targeting Albertans, mostly through online advertisements.
One fact should be made clear: no business is currently registered or authorized to market or sell binary options in Canada.
Securities laws in all Canadian jurisdictions govern the registration and activities of companies and individuals who wish to offer investment services or products. Soliciting or selling binary options, whether online or in person, without registration or an exemption is considered a breach of securities law.
Albertans are being attracted to invest in these offshore binary options trading platforms through ads containing misleading information, including promoting their platforms as an easy way to make money and offering low-risk, high-reward opportunities.
Those who sign up for an account usually have to provide personal information including their credit card and driver’s license. This leaves them vulnerable to the threat of unauthorized credit card withdrawals resulting in high-interest payments for a non-existent investment.
The ASC has received numerous calls from Albertans who have invested with binary options trading platforms overseas and are unable to withdraw their money. Even when investors see virtual gains, they often cannot access these profits as they don’t exist.
At this time, investors are being urged to avoid investing in binary options trading platforms.
CSA alerts Canadians: Beware binary options platforms
The Times of Israel offers an in-depth look at binary options scams