After searching the net and looking for the most insidious and criminal techniques brokers use to scam traders, I found out a variety of methods which if used by a talented sales agent can have a seriously detrimental effect on your household income and ability to finance yourself. You need to be extremely careful with these crafty brokers, and think 50 times before providing your credit card information to someone half way around the world getting paid a very low base and high commissions based on his ability to squeeze deposits from innocent would-be traders. This post is divided into 2 sections, the first is for customers who have never invested, or alternatively will be investing with the broker for the first time. The second section is for traders interested in re-investing.
Tactics Used on First Time Investors
So, you saw this movie about some guy who has access to some loophole and has invented a method which can make you thousands of dollars a day without any effort. OK, let’s say you are intrigued for some reason and would like to fund your account. If you have just registered expect a phone call from a pushy sales agent pretending to be a broker. He get’s paid if he gets you to deposit, but he get’s more if you deposit a higher amount. His job is to get you through the door and gift wrap you to the real cash grinders, the people who will sell you bottled air and snake oil in their sleep.
Promises of Wealth and Riches
The first person you speak with will sell you the dream, that is what he’s paid to do. Now remember, if you go to a serious brokerage they don’t talk like this. Usually they will ask you for a minimum investment of let’s say $100,000 and give you a reasonable return on investment with a range of 3%-12% depending on the level of risk and exposure. Obviously if you are buying government bonds you are relatively safe but you won’t see much. If you invest in emerging markets then the risk is huge, but the profits are there and they are real. So, if the company representative is laying it on thick, take a step back and reconsider your options.
Agent Machine Guns the Sales Script
If you pick up the phone in many cases you will experience a rehearsed script harping on the usual points: Educational tools, strategies, account management, bonuses, insurance or risk free trades, and depending on the broker you will hear about regulation (or not). When you start to hear these things stop what you are doing and hang up the phone.
Dirty Sales Tricks
If you have ever been to a bazaar you will notice the shop owners haggling with customers. This is very much the same atmosphere you have on the trading floor, only here they will be extremely aggressive and always try to get you to fund your account. Some tactics may include sentences like “What do you mean you don’t have money? You can afford a dinner at a restaurant right?”, or “I can pretty much guarantee that if you use the methods we offer you will make a ton of money”.
If you are sold on this then at least document your conversation because you may need it later on.
Tactics Used on Traders Wanting to Re-Invest
Advanced Fee: It’s just a tool to get you to deposit money without really having to be accountable for the performance. Brokers call it fluff money since they use it for buying alcohol and other amenities for the trading floor.
Credit Card Fraud (Overcharging): The classic and most vile tactic is to overcharge your credit card. The better brokers have a very strong compliance department which forbids this, but some of the shady ones like Optionmint, Zenith Options, Cedar Finance, safe24options, Traderxp, Optimarkets, XPMarkets, Amber Options, Regal Options or Interactive Option will over charge you left and right.
Withdrawal Deception: They will tell you anything and use every loophole to get you to reverse or cancel your withdrawal request. Make sure to take screenshots and document your account status at all times.
Bonuses Credited on Wins to Avoid Cashing Out: This is a really dirty trick used in order to void your withdrawal request. If you have a bonus then you would need to trade a certain volume to qualify in order to collect your money, but if you have a bonus in your account then you can’t withdraw.
Documentation and Bureaucracy Used as an Attrition Tool: The documentation process of getting you to provide a photo ID, Utility Bill, and photos of credit cards is used as a fig leaf to hide the true intention of procrastinating with the intent of cancelling withdrawals altogether.
Fake Wins: Fake wins or Photo-shopped wins are used as a method to solicit money from traders under false pretenses.
Trading for You: A Senior Broker may address you and try to convince you to trade on your behalf. If you sign a document allowing him this, or alternatively agree to it on the telephone you are pretty much mince meat and they have you by the balls.
Balance Depleted: One day you have $5,000, and the next day it’s down to $5, how can that be? The trading history shows someone traded, but it sure as hell wasn’t you. Well, unfortunately you have just been ripped off in a most despicable way.
Demo Account: At times these will be used to solicit your private information so they can spam you with phony offers and call you up profusely.
Intimidation Tactics: This is really a way to appeal to your fears and insecurities and bend your arm. In many cases there is a carrot and stick system which is employed by either one or a couple of Senior Brokers.
Tax ride-off: This is a way to let you think you can report this as an expense and get your money back from the authorities. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Deny Requests to Return Funds: Sometimes a person realizes he makes a mistake but can’t undo his actions. In all fairness, if the broker has followed his own rules then the person making bad decisions has to pay the price in some way or another, unless he was falsely led to believe something.
Unusually High Fees for Cashing Out: This is used to discourage you from taking out your money. Insane fines are also levied for not meeting trading requirements when trying to withdraw.
Posing as a Legal Entity: Calling as a third party and demanding money be sent to broker due to a commitment is something we have seen done as well by scammers.
One-sided Agreements: Forcing traders to reconfirm their transactions by signing documents in order to avoid financial disputes is an everyday occurrence. By the way, this is done by a lot of businesses.
Switching Account Managers: This is done in order to reduce tension and switch tactics after major losses have been absorbed.
Promises of Rolex Watches and Fancy Cars: This is usually a way to hype up heavy investors or people who are into “the lifestyle” and don’t mind losing their money as long as they have a good time. But still, they may use this on just anyone to get him hyped and in the mood.
Asking for Your Password: DO NOT give anyone your password, and if they ask you for it make sure to record the conversation because that’s illegal.
Lack of Communication: Usually when a scam has run it’s course the level of communication will drop because they will want to deal with the new traders and try to get some money out of them.
False Advertising of Trading Tools: For example ITM trades at over 90% is not logical and that should send a flair up in the sky.
Pressure Tactics: At times they will contact you and try to give you a match offer, but in reality it’s a bonus and you can’t really win with that unless the volume requisites are low.
Software is Rigged: Just can’t win? Well, there’s something behind it and you can really feel that you are trading against the house. That’s because someone has adjusted the payout percentage in their favor – and it’s not you.
Email and Password Not Valid: Have you just been locked out of your account and can’t seem to log back in? I really hope you took some screenshots of your account before and don’t faint easily.
I believe anyone with eyes in their head and a bit of common sense can get the picture of how some of these scam brokers operate. The real problem is separating the wheat from the chaff, because there are some really good brokers out there and some solid systems with very good payouts. For example effective signals combined with a reputable broker means you will definitely make money, maybe not millions but it’s really a good way to supplement your income or alternatively quit working altogether and become a full time day trader – but only if you have the proper training and are willing to risk significant amounts of money and time. On the other hand, if you are tricked into using fraudulent offers like the free money system (Walter Green), Insured Profits, or Channel Ranger, Binary Matrix Pro, Oz Bot, or Mockingbird Method, you will surely lose your money because there is nothing there except hot air and affiliates trying to get paid on the back end.
Bellow you will find a list of additional sites where you can report binary options scams:
ripoffreport.com – General consumer awareness and information site.
sec.gov/whistleblower – This is the SEC whistle blower site.
bbb.org/scamtracker/us – Better Business Bureau
scamwatch.gov.au/ – Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
asa.org.uk/ – Advertising Standards Authority
ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#&panel1-1 – Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
fbi.gov/scams-safety/e-scams – FBI Website
Binary Scam Watch Monitor – Well known watchdog site for binary options
binaryoptions.net.au/ – Good for Australian binary options traders.
forexpeacearmy.com/ – Very rough site for reporting scams.
cad.gov.sg/ – Report a scam to the Police if you are in Singapore
sida.se/English/contact-us/Whistleblower/ – For Swedish Residents
securities-administrators.ca/Fraud.aspx – For Canadian residents (Canadian Securities Administrators)