What to Do When You’ve Been Scammed by Your Binary Options Broker

scam broker what to doWith binary options trading becoming increasingly popular and easily accessible, there are a number of online brokers popping up everywhere. Unfortunately, this means that among all of the brokers, there will be some out there who are just in it to make a few bucks quickly and get out.

For this reason, it is vital that you do research on each binary broker before signing up with them or depositing any money, because you simply never know if it is a legitimate business or not.

It is also important to note that binary options itself does involve risk, depending on the assets that you are trading against, the expiry times you are working with, and the amount you are trading. The binary options broker you are using is in no way responsible for the changes that occur in the market, even if they offer predictions meant to help you make decisions. In the end, you are responsible for the trades that you make.

Problems with withdrawing funds

What happens most often in binary brokers that were set up with the intention of scamming you is that when it comes time to withdraw your money, you are not able to do so for whatever reason. Before you go any further with your complaint against a broker that won’t allow you to withdraw your money, be sure to check their guidelines. There may be a minimum balance requirement, a minimum length of time enrolled in their program, or other stipulations that could be preventing you from withdrawing your money at that point.

Contacting customer service

If you have read over all of the withdraw requirements and you are sure that you meet them all, then it is time to begin the process of filing a complaint in order to get your money out of the broker’s hands. The first step is always to contact the customer service for the specific site that you are working with. Give as many details as possible, explaining the events leading up to your withdraw request and what you have done to try to solve the problem yourself. Be sure to be polite and clearly state that you want to work with them to figure the situation out.

Filing an official complaint

file official compaintIf the customer service agent is unable or unwilling to help you, or you do not hear back from them within 2 – 3 business days, there are a couple things that you can do, depending on whether the broker you are working with is regulated or unregulated. With a regulated broker, you can express to the customer service agent that you will be filing an official complaint with their regulating body if they are not willing to solve your problem. Most of the time, the possibility of falling into bad terms with their regulating body is enough to encourage the broker to release your funds to you.

Unfortunately, if you are with an unregulated broker, then there is not much else you can do as far as moving up a chain of command. You can, however, clearly state your demands that you would like to receive the money that you earned and if nothing is done in a certain time period, you will speak out against them. Even unregulated brokers have a strong desire to protect their name and will not risk negative publicity within the financial industry.

If you are working with an unregulated broker whose intention was to scam you from the get-go, it is possible that you will struggle to get your money back. Smart scammers will take your money and run, and tracking them through the internet is nearly impossible. The only thing you can do in this case is spread the word about the scam as much as possible to help others avoid being scammed and to hope that somebody is able to come forward with information about the scammer.

Finding information on regulated brokers

To file a complaint with the regulation body of a regulated broker, you will need the official name of the broker as well as their license number. Since most regulated brokers use their regulation status as a way to encourage people to sign up with them, they nearly always have their information displayed prominently on their website. If you cannot find the information on the broker website, you may need to check with the government agency.

The government agency that regulates the binary options broker that you are working with will vary depending on the country in which the broker is registered. For companies that are in the United States, check with the U.S. Commodity Future Trading Commission. With companies originating from the United Kingdom, you can check with the Financial Conduct Authority.

Contact details to regulating bodies worldwide

Below you’ll find contact details to regulating bodies that can help you sort out any issues you might have with your broker. It’s important to contact the authority for your broker’s specific region.

New Zealand’s Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR)
National number – 0508 377 746
International number – +64 3 962 6162

Markets in Financial Instruments Directive MiFID
EU number – 0800 6789 1011
Outside of the EU – 0032 2299 9696

(CySEC) Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission
International number: +357 22506600
General email: info@cysec.gov.cy

Bulgaria Investment Intermediary with the Financial Securities Commission FSC
Call center: 0035 9294 04999
General e-mail: bg_fsc@fsc.bg

Malta Financial Services Authority
National number: 800 74924 (Freephone)
International number: 0035 6254 85700
General e-mail: consumerinfo@mfsa.com.mt

(FCA UK) Financial Conduct Authority
National number: 0800 111 6768 (freephone) / 0300 500 8082
International number: +44 207 066 1000

(ASIC) Australian Securities & Investment Commission
National number: 1300 300630
International number: 0061 3517 73988

British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission
National number: 0284 494 1324 / 0284 494 4190

International Financial Services Commission Belize
National number: 0501 822 2974

(SIBA) Seychelles International Business Authority
National/international number: 0024 8438 0800 / 0024 8438 0888

Additional notes on regulated vs. unregulated brokers

Experts nearly always advise that you choose to work with a regulated broker because of the additional rules and regulations that are placed on them. This makes them much safer to work with and will help you get what you deserve if it becomes necessary. Regulated brokers are also held to certain standards and many are required to provide you with certain information that will help you make better trading decisions. While there are a few unregulated brokers out there that run reputable businesses, in general, it’s best to stick with those who are regulated, no matter what types of perks are being offered.

The main benefit of choosing a regulated broker when it comes to money being withheld from you is that you have the ability to go to the regulator with your case, who in turn has the ability to approach the broker on your behalf. At that point, if the broker is found to be in the wrong, they will not only be forced to make things right with you, but they may also be subject to various fines and sanctions. Brokers who repeatedly break the rules will have their license removed which removes much of their credibility as well.

Published in Education

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