ASC’s warning: Beware of unregistered binary option companies

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Suspicious investment schemes are now in Alberta.

The Alberta Securities Commission, the regulatory agency responsible for administering the province’s securities laws, warns the Alberta residents to avoid investment fraud called binary options, where people essentially bet on whether the value of an asset will increase or decrease in a short period of time.

Reportedly, these unregistered binary option companies are currently soliciting Albertans, especially in Edmonton and nearby areas. In fact, ASC has recently received several complaints from Alberta residents who have lost significant sums of money, a total of more than $400,000, investing through the said investment fraud.

The regulator says many binary options trading platforms are based overseas like Ukraine, Cyprus and Belize, even though they list Canadian contact information. Sad to say, these companies managing these platforms are often not registered to conduct business or offer investment advice in Canada.

“Being solicited to invest by companies operating offshore is a common red flag of investment fraud, and investing with these companies can be risky. Once funds are offshore, it can be nearly impossible for an investor to recover their money,” the ASC said.

The commission revealed the unregistered trading platforms currently soliciting Albertans: VIP Binary Options, Citrades, Optek Canada, RB Options, GT Options, Options XD, and No. 1 Options.

According to authorities, the list is not yet complete. The abovementioned companies are not registered in Alberta and are unable to rely on appropriate exemption from the registration requirements.

This warning issued by the Alberta Securities Commission is not only for Canada. This also warns people from other countries who are experiencing same investment fraud. While the ASC are doing their best to protect the investors, the people should also do their part.

It pays to be wary of unsolicited offers. If you can, be sure to conduct your own investigation before investing.

Remember, it’s your hard-earned money. Think twice before risking it for “all or nothing” options.

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