Royal Canadian Mounted Police voices concerns about binary options scams

Maria Nikolova

Last year, there were 8,317 cases of fraud reported in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions from January to October.

Binary options fraud has been so omnipresent lately that police forces in a number of jurisdictions have added their voices to the chorus of concerns about this type of scams. Following warnings from the police in Singapore and the UK, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has also noted the rise in binary options fraud cases.

In an announcement published on Monday, the Alberta RCMP says that last year, there were 8,317 cases of fraud reported in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions from January to October, with binary options scam reports being on the rise lately. According to the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC), Albertans who are defrauded by binary options scams suffer an average loss of more than $20,000.

Alberta saw a horrid case related to binary options fraud late last year, as 61-year old Fred Turbide of Edmonton committed a suicide in December 2016, following the loss of a heavy sum of money due to using the services of binary options platform 23traders.com.

The RCMP warning was issued on the day when the consultation on prohibition of binary options offering, advertising and selling closed in Alberta and Quebec. The aim of the proposed ban is to protect investors from becoming a victim of binary options fraud.

Whereas investors bear the brunt of binary options fraud, the industry seem to be reluctant to support a ban on binary options altogether. That was indicated by the responses received by Quebec’s financial regulator AMF to a proposal to ban binary options. For instance, the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC), which represents 132 brokerage firms regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), has insisted that binary options are not the problem, per se, whereas fraudulent and unregulated businesses offering binary options are. IIAC proposed that instead of banning binary options, Quebec should allow IIROC regulated brokerage firms to offer binary options to investors.

The responses to the consultation on the proposed binary options ban in Alberta are yet to be known. In the meantime, the Alberta RCMP reminds investors that there are no registered binary options dealers in Alberta.

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