John Oliver rips into MetaTrader over role in ‘Pig Butchering’ scams

Rick Steves

“If your friend told you to download an app, and you saw it in the app store with good reviews, you might assume everything on it was legitimate. In before, you saw MetaTrader’s logo which looks like three men in suits jerking each other off under a table – an appropriate metaphor for cryptocurrency if I have ever seen one,” Oliver quipped.

Comedian John Oliver did not hold back in criticizing the popular MetaTrader trading platform during his segment on pig butchering scams last Sunday on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

“If your friend told you to download an app, and you saw it in the app store with good reviews, you might assume everything on it was legitimate. In before, you saw MetaTrader’s logo which looks like three men in suits jerking each other off under a table – an appropriate metaphor for cryptocurrency if I have ever seen one,” Oliver quipped.

He went on to explain how scammers have created “incredibly plausible looking platforms” using MetaTrader that mislead victims into believing their funds were growing. As Cyrus Farivar from Forbes noted “In MetaTrader, it looks just like any kind of normal trading interface that one would use. It’s available in the Google Play Store. It’s available in the Apple App Store. It’s an app that has a lot of good ratings. And that was one of the things that made [the victim] think that this whole operation was legitimate.”

Oliver criticized MetaTrader and other platforms for not doing more to crack down on fake accounts and ensure tools are not abused, arguing awareness and prevention must be improved to curb the multibillion-dollar pig butchering scam epidemic.

 

It was in September 2022 that MetaQuotes found itself at the center of “pig butchering” scams, a form of relationship-investment fraud that has significantly impacted its reputation and operations.

These scams involve fraudsters establishing a rapport with victims, convincing them to invest in fraudulent crypto exchanges through MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 white-label licenses. This led to Apple suspending MetaQuotes’ products from the App Store.

This suspension was a direct response to concerns over security and the misuse of the MetaTrader platform in these fraudulent schemes. However, MetaQuotes took steps to address these concerns and regain trust within the trading community, ultimately being reinstated to the App Store in March 2023.

Efforts included enhancing the onboarding process for white-label providers to make it more challenging for scammers to use the platform for fraudulent activities. MetaQuotes provided Apple with detailed explanations of operational technicalities and insights into the measures taken to prevent misuse. As a result, the iOS versions of MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 were reinstated to the App Store in March 2023, after demonstrating compliance with Apple’s requirements​​.

The fallout from the scam and its subsequent impact on MetaQuotes prompted a broader industry response. Many brokers began diversifying their trading platform portfolios beyond MetaTrader, acknowledging the risks associated with relying on a single platform provider. The situation highlighted the need for trading platforms and brokers to adapt to modern technology and practices to remain competitive and secure.

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