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Apple blocks Binary Options trading apps

Apple has reportedly updated its developer guidelines for apps, making it clear that they will not allow any which facilitate Binary Options trading.

Binary Options are called ‘Binary’ because there can be only two outcomes – win or lose. To trade, all you need to do is bet on whether the price of something (such as a currency or precious metal) will rise or fall below a certain amount - if it is correct, you win and get paid. If not, you lose all of the money you originally invested.

These schemes also allegedly involve, among other things, the refusal to credit customer accounts or reimburse funds to customers, identity theft, and manipulation of software to generate losing trades.

Binary Options trading itself is not illegal, but fraudsters have exploited the huge growth in popularity, with companies aggressively targeting social media platforms with flashy commercials promising impressive returns. Fraudulent Binary Options websites are often well-designed and professional looking, and brokers and traders - often working from scripts - will sound friendly, professional and knowledgeable. They will be paid on commission and have no interest in ever making successful trades for the ‘investor’. In fact, we believe they will often use the victim’s credit and personal information to access further funds without the victim’s knowledge.

How to protect yourself

  • Be suspicious of any approach via social media as many fraudsters tend to operate via social media due to the anonymity it allows. Carry out as much research on the company/details provided as possible. 
  • Do not give out personal or financial details and never agree to anything or send money upfront, without making your own enquires into the company or individual first.
  • Further advice on Binary Options fraud can be found online on Action Fraud and those of our partners at the Gambling Commission and Financial Conduct Authority.
  • If you have been contacted by a suspicious firm or have been affected by this, or any other fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or by reporting online.  
  • Please have to hand any contact details for the suspect(s) including addresses, phone numbers and email addresses; and any details of payments made to the suspect(s) bank accounts (these can be obtained from your own bank if required) including account numbers, sort codes, payee names and/or references and IBAN and SWIFT numbers if payments were sent abroad. 
  • Please also consider reporting any suspect companies to the FBI.

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