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Binary Option Frauds - Scam Brokerage

Last week we looked at the growing threat of binary option frauds and one of the observations we reported was that Israel now seems to be one of the most likely locations of a scam brokerage.

Since we made that claim Shmuel Hauser, chair of the Israel Securities Authority, the agency tasked with protecting investors.  Mr Hauser recently came out to say the Israeli government now considers binary option fraud to be a problem of national significance that is causing devastating damage to Israel’s international reputation and he has pledged to utilise all of the available roots of law enforcement to tackle it.

In an interview Mr Hauser said he is recruiting all arms of law enforcement, that he will push for new legislation if required and has the full support of Israel’s political system to grapple with an industry that The Times of Israel has reported employs thousands of Israelis working for more than 100 companies and working hard to defraud victims all over the world of what is now billions of dollars.

“I see this on a personal level,” said Mr Hauser, “not just as a regulator, but as an Israeli citizen and as someone who is disgusted by fraud and especially by the type of people who take money from the unfortunate.”

Earlier this year the Authority banned all binary options firms from targeting Israelis, the initial target market, but it is struggling to make headway with stopping the companies from defrauding victims internationally.  Although Mr Hauser is realistic enough to say he cannot “regulate the entire world”, he has promised the authorities will “step up a notch… and take a big step” to tackle the fraudsters in the coming months.

The reason action could be taken to ban binary options firms from targeting Israelis was that it contravened existing anti-gambling legislation (although Mr Hauser admitted this was a much more cynical industry).  However as he explained:

“If these companies solicit customers abroad, I don’t have the jurisdiction [to outlaw them]. But if another [overseas] regulator asks us for help, we can investigate.”

And it seems that this approach, increased cooperation with European regulators to track down the Israeli names the European regulators believe are responsible for the alleged fraud, is the one Mr Hauser is encouraging people to take in a bid to stem the tide of what is a flourishing and astonishingly fast growing industry. 

To give given individual victims of binary options fraud some hope Mr Hauser said the best thing to do is to file formal complaints which will trigger an investigation by the Israeli police.  He added international victims should also approach their local regulators (e.g. if the victim is British they can complain to the Financial Conduct Authority and they will then approach the Israel Securities Authority) because “if a foreign regulator approaches us, we will address the case.”

While the recognition and promised action is some reassurance, we’d always advice you seek professional help from someone with direct experience of dealing with this type of fraud, someone like us. 

If you have found yourself victim to this or any other type of online scam, give us a call and we will talk you through the options and help you start the slow process of recovering your assets.

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MLA 2017 18 Shortlisted 2