Beware! Aggressive Israeli affiliate marketing scammers now switching from binary options leads to ICO and crypto leads

We investigate the insidious shapeshifting of fraudulent affiliate marketers that are now aggressively targeting brokerages and website owners for crypto and ICO lead traffic that is effectively recycled binary options traffic, with revenues earned on losses of client deposits on schemes that never have any connection with genuine investment or financial markets.

The binary options racket that has done irreparable damage to the business reputation of the State of Israel, exposed the level of corruption in the nation’s government, brought brutality and illiteracy to the ranks of the retail electronic trading sector, and created a regulatory purge that has impinged on the genuine retail sector in various countries is not dead yet.

Since the rise of the insidious binary options businesses which have swept like a tsunami across various countries, running roughshod over the law and reveling in doing so, a vast underworld which is based on, and was started by, the binary options business exists.

One such spin-off is an array of affiliate marketing networks that are specific to binary options, most of which are operated and staffed by former binary options sales people or brand owners, and all of which are absolutely disingenuous, the purpose of this report being to ensure that all retail FX brokers who read this should take heed and avoid working with them under any circumstances.

As the binary options fraudsters managed to sway the Israeli government in their direction and are now busily working on pretending to stop their operations, when in actual reality, their offices are now being re-branded to remove the word ‘binary’ and replace it with ‘crypto’ yet still carry on doing the same thing which is stealing money from unsuspecting people worldwide who wrongly think they are investing in something when in fact there is no underlying asset at all, the affiliate networks that brought them a vast number of their leads and victims are now approaching brokerages promising them incredible returns on crypto and ICO leads.

FinanceFeeds has been researching this closely, and has been targeted by some of these networks, all of whom have been working in the binary options business.

One example this week reads:

Dear…..

This is Chaya from Affiliate Partners Ltd. and I have a great cooperation offer for you. I know you are busy but please give me one second and read how I can help you to monetize your website.  We are Europe’s leading Affiliate Network for the financial sector and we have offers for Forex, CFD, Crypto, Health Products and many more offers.

For new customers you can earn up to $600, depending on the offer and the country. You could promote these in example with banners on your website or by buying media traffic – there are infinite possibilities.

Let me offer you an amazing deal when you decide to start with us. Take a look and sign-up for free: http://join.affiliate-partners.net/signup_affiliate/14

Please feel free to write me an Email or in Skype, to discuss great earning opportunities for you.

Sincerely

Europe? Seriously? It would be of interest to see what the FCA or ESMA thinks of affiliate networks that provide zero-sum traffic to companies that will remunerate them from client losses which have arisen from ponzi schemes such as ICOs in which the token or the product will never come to fruition and was never intended to, hence the absolutely fraudulent nature of this.

Other such affiliate networks are attempting to partner with reputable news and information portals and websites, so that they can place not only banners which drive traffic on a CPA (Cost per Aquisition) basis which is very common among affiliate marketing networks, but also to generate generic content containing specific keywords about ICO, cryptocurrency and other such buzzwords that create strong SEO and then use that to generate leads for fraudsters.

One example we encountered, also emanating from a former binary options salesman in Israel was “We’re currently focusing on the blockchain and cryptocurrency and fintech niche, outreaching to top writers, bloggers, influencers and publications such as yourself for collaboration. Some of our clients are NEO, Qtum, Cryptopay, Datum, LAToken, Everex, Agrello, ATLANT, ELOPlay and many others.”

“To cut to the chase, I came across your website today and I’d like to work with you. We are partnering up with publications that cover Fintech, Bitcoin, Ethereum and Blockchain news and tips as we work very extensively with a few blockchain and ICO clients that we have. We’d like to work together on featuring brands through quality content (informational contributed articles, interviews, quotes or mentions) in articles or sponsored posts which are on-topic for your site. We’re also aiming long term. We might also be interested in other types of advertising (ICO listing and banners)” boasted the marketing spiel.

On close inspection, this came from a company which is an affiliate network based in Ramat Gan, and is absolutely in no way whatsoever connected with news, research or editorial matters relating to the financial markets or financial technology. In short, they generate revenue by conducting content marketing to increase the profile and drive traffic to crypto and ICO scammers, hence a massive conflict of interest. When realizing that FinanceFeeds was investigating, they resorted to aggressive attempts to silence us.

These are just two examples of how this type of entity operates, however FinanceFeeds is aware of several networks of this nature now jumping on the completely false crypto and ICO bandwagon, all of which are Israeli and if reproached, accuse anyone who questions them of being ‘anti-semitic’ (even though I approached them to ask serious questions and was accused of that, and I am Jewish myself – Ed) hence the forceful sales tactics are present from the affiliate marketers to the boiler room sales floors of Ramat Gan’s former binary options entities which now peddle the modern falsehoods.

A common practice among Israel’s binary options and b-book unregulated FX fraudsters has been to pretend to be based in a more bona fide location and use names that sound less Israeli, a shapeshifting tactic that has duped millions of people out of their money by falsely gaining their trust, and then when it goes wrong, leaving them with nowhere to turn as “Steven” from “Ireland” does not actually exist.

This practice has now found its way into the lead generation tactics for crypto and ICO, as we were contacted by an Israeli entity claiming to be based in California, and having a UK division for lead generation.

Their falsely named representative wrote

Hello ….

We help businesses across the Internet Software & Services industry identify their B2B website visitors. This will provide FinanceFeeds with a substantial database of high-quality lead generation opportunities which your sales team can follow up with. Would love to give you a Free 14-days full access trial to unlimited website visitor data and steamline it for maximum crypto ROI. Are you the most appropriate person to pass this information on to?

Erm, no thank you.

When looking at the modus operandi of such schemes, it becomes very clear as to why they should be avoided.

During 2016, there was a surge in the number of such ‘make-money affiliate networks’ which began aiming their services directly and solely at retail FX brokerages, however absolutely all of them without exception are operated by former binary options and warehouse FX figures in Israel, many of whom are now under the investigation of the FBI, which has been in Israel during the last few weeks feeling the collars of some very senior binary options and warehouse FX brokerages owners.

FinanceFeeds investigation involved speaking to the affiliate marketing departments among many retail FX firms, and in particular with executives who have a detailed understanding of how traffic buying and conversion works within an online FX business.

One particular executive explained “I realized quite early on what this is about. Most of these networks boast that they can bring several thousand FTDs (first time deposits) to brokerages, however the FTDs never go to the actual platform. Instead they stay within some kind of designed website, which is operated and owned by the make-money affiliate marketing network itself. It then connects via an API connection to the FX company’s system, and even regulated binary options firms are asking customers to bring FTDs via these networks, saying things like bring $250 and you can be a millionaire. This is absolutely crazy.”

Indeed, such a system is encouraging brokerages to cause their clients to be involved in a semi-pyramid scheme, by asking customers to make a deposit into a live account, then connecting the make-money affiliate marketing system to their own real trading platform and telling the client that he can be an affiliate by bringing leads from these make-money affiliate networks, all of which never deliver.

One particular example of this is a network called BOA Elite, which according to our sources, is owned and operated by Leon Okun, a co-founder of SpotOption and former senior executive at the company.

Research into this matter by FinanceFeeds shows that BOA is charging $500 CPA on each, and is operating in this particular fashion.

BOA Elite boasts that it is “the largest affiliate network for financial products” and that it can “invite you to gain access to over 60 binary options and FX brands promoted under one roof.”

Affiliate marketing departments within FX firms could easily be taken in by this, and according to our research some already have been, which is concerning.

FastCash.biz is another example, which makes claims t bring $10,000 in first time deposits per month for retail traders that want to become affiliates of brokerages. This is known as a ‘converting funnel’ by those who orchestrate it, and is indeed the same principle as BOA Elite’s ‘make-money affiliate’ system, also operated by former binary options employees from Israel.

Clicksure, also operated from Israel, makes a claim that “advertisers receive access to a powerful SaaS solution (software as a service), which gives them insights to optimize their campaigns and helps them make more intelligent marketing decisions.”

The company claims that it has the technology to allow advertisers to gain access to over 400,000 affiliates without needing to manage affiliate payments, and that it allows firms to promote high converting products with weekly payouts.

The two caveats to bear in mind with regard to these systems are that brokers could fall foul of these tactics, sign up to this type of network, and lose money yet gain no new clients, and that retail customers of brokerages could be persuaded to become ‘affiliates’ in their own right, to find that actually they have money taken off them and no deposits from the network would arise.

It is very clear that these entities along with many others which now are setting themselves up from the money stealing methods they learned whilst in the binary options business will now look to aggressively peddle crypto and ICO leads.

FinanceFeeds will continue to research this matter, however for those interested, our research piece on how binary brokers obtain leads may provide good insight into what kind of background led to the rise of these networks.

Mind how you go…..

 

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