64 year old binary options fraud victim details his experiences
A binary options customer that is one of the thousands globally that have been defrauded by the nefarious business reveals how a binary brand relieved him of over $100000 and will not pay withdrawals
The widespread damage that has been caused by the OTC binary options frauds that have punctuated the online e-commerce world over the past decade has attracted the attention of regulators, government officials and litigation specialists worldwide over the past year, resulting in national bans in several countries in a collaborative attempt to put a stop to its existence.
Binary options, which emanates from the affiliate marketing, lead buying (in some cases stealing!) and gambling underworld, bears absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to the genuine electronic trading, financial services and technology sectors that serve retail clients via dedicated and proven platforms, and whose founders and key figures are less than salubrious, in some cases semi-literate and have criminal records.
A shadow has been cast over the world’s online financial markets business, because global regulatory authorities have begun to tar OTC derivatives with the same brush as binary options, with several countries having banned the advertising and in some cases the provision, of OTC derivatives in any form.
For this reason, FinanceFeeds considers that it should be the expedient responsibility of governments worldwide to oust the binary options fraudsters and outlaw it before it damages the genuine electronic trading industry whose executives have worked tirelessly over the past twenty years to develop a highly sophisticated ecosystem in the world’s most esteemed financial centers of New York, London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Executives whose shining careers are a bastion of provenance, with internships at global institutions and leadership positions at large FinTech, exchange and institutional FX firms giving rise to their extremely high levels of knowledge and R&D prowess should not have to suffer the consequences of the back street weighted gambling platforms masquerading illegitimately as a means of entry to the financial markets, when in actual fact they bear as much resemblance to the trading of financial instruments as carrots do to thermonuclear fission.
Whilst the net closes in on binary options and global governments outlaw it and sanction any payment gateway that uses a third party to disguise the nature of the payment, the government of the State of Israel, the nation from which many of the binary options platforms originate, has vowed to fight it worldwide with a view to ensuring its extinction, and many have cut and run already, realizing that the end is nigh and not wanting to face the consequences of answering to the tens of billions stolen from customers worldwide and laws flouted on a global scale.
FinanceFeeds considers that whilst many of the larger and more in-yer-face binary options firms will likely cut and run, many are working on designing a similar system that allows them to continue fleecing customers whilst calling the end ‘product’ something else so that it circumvents any anti-binary options laws.
One of the worst and most harrowing accounts that we have heard was the recent passing away by suicide of a Canadian gentleman who had been ruined by having had his money stolen by a binary options brand based in Israel, that being 23Trader, which this week slipped quietly away, its website having gone offline.
Following the extremely sad passing of 61 year old Fred Turbide of Edmonton, Alberta on December 21, 2016, following the loss of all of his savings and a substantial amount of borrowed money, totalling more than CAD300,000 (USD 226,120). He lost about two-thirds of this sum on the 23Traders.com platform, which operates from Israel, which now appears to have run away.
Mr Turbide had been pushed by his broker at 23Traders, who presented himself as “Julian Wellington,” (a fake name as is normal practice within these firms) to invest his life savings, along with the credit for his home and business into binary options. The aggressive marketing approach included reassurances that he would generate substantial revenue. Wellington told Mr Turbide he was making money, urging him to invest more, until one day he admitted that all the money is gone.
Of course there is no ‘investment’ and no financial product. No binary options platforms are actually connected to a live market at all. Asking a binary options brand owner what an aggregated price feed or a prime brokerage is will likely result in a look of confusion, that is if it is possible for them to understand a coherent sentence at all.
Many cases of this nature have been brought to light in what the City of London Police in Britain is calling the “biggest internet scam ever”, its view of binary options being that of an absolutely criminal nature. In the recent Knesset Committee hearings in Israel in which the Israel Securities Authority is lobbying the Attorney General for powers to quash the entire sordid binary options business globally, elderly victims of the fraud were actually brought into the Knesset hearing to explain the magnitude of their losses to the scammers.
So vociferous is the discourse toward binary options that Haggai Carmon, a former Israeli and American secret agent likened it to the same type of ‘layering’ as used in terrorist and espionage scenarios. Mr Carmon has recently been using his skills as a counter-terrorist special agent (he is now retired) to help identify binary options fraudsters and return stolen money to customers. He has so far managed to recover $2 million that was stolen by binary fraudsters and returned it to those cheated.
This week, FinanceFeeds spoke to Herby, a 64 year old gentleman from the Asia Pacific region who had been the subject of binary options fraud.
Just after Mr. Turbide’s suicide, Herby contacted FinanceFeeds explaining his situation.
“I deeply sympathize with Fred Turbide as I am in the similar situation as him” he said.
“I am 63 years old and have lost over $100,000 to a binary options company called SKYLINEMARKETS” continued Herby.
“Although l still have $175,000 USD in my account l was not allowed to make any withdrawal.”
“lt was an outright cheat and right now I am facing a great deal of pressure from the credit cards companies” he said.
“I almost wanted to go the same way as Fred but fortunately I did not. Out of desperation I tried to recover some money back to pay my debts and believed in the sweet talks of another binary options company who said they can help me to recover some of my money and to pay my debts” explained Herby.
“I was trapped again by this other binary options company and lost some more money . I feel that these people are not human beings, they have no hearts, they are evil and it is absolutely best not To have anything To do with them” said Herby.
FinanceFeeds concurs with this. It is our understanding that anyone, whether press or government, lawyer or mediator, approaches the binary options brand owners and platform/market makers with a reproach regarding their activities, this is often met with threats, in some cases of phyiscal violence, and what is astonishing is that the authorities worldwide are aware of this yet do nothing about it. Mr Carmon advised anyone on the receiving end to go to the police.
Herby continued to explain to FinanceFeeds “I pray that these fraudsters will reap what they have sowed in their later lives. I hope Visa and Mastercard will blacklist these companies and allow my application for the chargebacks as this is a case of clear cut Fraud.”
Since then, Herby has elaborated further, explaining this morning to FinanceFeeds, recalling how he originally became interested in depositing money to a binary options firm, Herby said “I got into binary options after I received an unsolicited calls from a binary options provider. A senior broker named Neil (likely a fake name) offered guidance and expertise to help me make a great deal of money.”
“I told him it was too risky and I do not know anything about binary options. He told me it was not risky and offered to guide me all the way. He said that I could start trading with only $250 USD. I was curious and decided to give it a go. After I put in the $250 USD, he said that was too little to see any real results and persuaded me to put in another $5000 USD and that he will also put in the same amount to help me along. He did not mention that money he put in was a bonus” explained Herby.
As is the case with many bogus tactics employed by many binary options firms, this company offered Herby some ‘guidance’. “He literally took my hand and teach me how to use the trading platform” said Herby.
“The next he asked me to sign a document online which I thought was a document to trade. He did not explain to me what that document was and as I was directed to the document, the robot took over and signed the document on my behalf. It turned out later that was the very important Bonus Statement with conditions that restrict withdrawals. I was trapped. The MRTV = (account deposits +credited bonus) X 20.”
FinanceFeeds has previously explained how binary options firms, largely due to their gambling roots, often allow traders who deposit more funds to begin ‘winning’ for a while to create a sense of euphoria, when the idea is to goad them into depositing more money so that they can then be relieved of their entire account balance.
Herby explained how he had become a victim of exactly this practice. “We made good progress and my account balance was gaining more and more profit. I was happy and began to trust the account manager more. He told me to put in more money and offer me VIP status when I deposited $100,000 USD. He said normally to reach VIP status it needs $250,000.”
This is common practice, many brands have become very cocksure in asking for large sums, with the intention of stealing large deposits.
Herby continued “The account manager wanted to help me to get the VIP status so that we can have access to the technical analysts information. He told me that when I reach the VIP status, all my losses will be “insured” i.e reimbursed. He did not say that was again Bonus that he was putting in. He called me day and night and put me in a great deal of pressure including threatening to withdrawal of My VIP status.”
FinanceFeeds has seen this practice employed by a vast number of binary options brands. In reality, there is no coaching and no live market to master.
Herby said “We started trading on 26/9/16. The balance in my account on the 23/11/16 was $167,915 USD with another $102,590 USD in the market for Long Term investment. On 24/11/16, Neil’s manager called John (likely also a fake name) offered to put me on the company’s VIP Robot auto trading program which was supposed to be able to generate better profits and of course I agreed. Before explaining to me what it entails he left me on the phone and proceeded to trade. I tried to stop him but he said he was too busy right now because he need to catch up with the market opportunity and invest.”
“Without getting my permission, he invested $165,444.36 USD from my account leaving me with the Balance of only $2,471.64 USD” said Herby.
According to Herby, the trading results on 24/11/16 and 25/11/16 were a total invested amount of $165,444.36 USD less payouts $50,304.19 USD, resulting in a net loss $115,140.17 USD in just one day.
“I read from the internet that whatever the investors lost will go back to their account. I was scammed out of $115,140.17 USD on that occasion. I realized for sure now that I have been cheated especially after my withdrawals requests were rejected” he said.
“My balance on 2/12/16 was $175,136.91 USD after all the long term investment in the market matured. In December 2016 and January 2017 they have credited $22,750.00 USD into my credit cards voluntarily. With that my balance should therefore be $152,386.91 before deduction of any commission. However, the latest balance shown in my account was $132,181.39 before I was denied access to my acoounts. I am deeply in debts and I need help to withdraw my account balance to pay off my credit cards.”
This practice has to stop, and FinanceFeeds is supportive of all government and regulatory efforts to end the binary options business for the greater good of the genuine electronic trading industry in bona fide jurisdictions that we ardently support and uphold as the highest level of quality in today’s modern, electronic and highly sophisticated genuine financial markets.