Let’s talk about binary options scams.
(For all you wise-guys out there, I’m not talking about trading binary options. It may be no different than gambling, but (most) people know that. And you can make money.)
Actual scams. Rogue brokers. Binary option companies who deserve to be on a blacklist.
Sine there’s a couple hundred plus brokers there’s a good chance you’ll run into one – if you haven’t already. Especially since many of them are not licensed or regulated (even some honest brokers are not regulated and some that are regulated are not legit).
So it makes sense to be prepared – know which brokers are blacklisted and what shenanigans rogue brokers pull so you can get the hell outta dodge once you spot the signs.
That’s what we’re going to share with now.
Oh, and afterwards I’ll give you some tips for how to deal with shoddy brokers who have screwed you over (like charging your credit card multiple times).
Good. Let’s get started.
Binary Options Scams: Our Blacklist
Below is our blacklist. These are brokers we consider to be rogue. You should NOT sign up to any one of these – unless you like giving your hard-earned money away, of course.
One other thing – most of these are based on research and NOT our personal experience. And it is a work in progress. If you feel like any of these do not below, send us an email (preferably with proof) to let us know.
- Traders King
- Safe24Options – They are not related to 24Options. They’re a scam because as soon as you ask for a cash out they disappear. Players complain of being owed thousands of dollars.
- Cedar Finance – They’re known to be spammers. They have created 1,000s of fake video reviews and testimonials to get people to sign up. They also promise you can make lots of money in seconds.
- Global Trader 365 – They specialize in getting traders to deposit loads of money – as much as $5,000 per deposit. But if you try to cash out they disappear. Sometimes they even freeze accounts and prevent traders from accessing it.
- Sycamore Options – Players complain of having their card charged multiple times. It also looks like this might be a reincarnation of TraderXP, also considered a scam by many.
- TraderXP – Same as above.
- VIP Binary
- Amber Options
- OptiMarkets – They refuse to pay out profits or return phone calls.
- XPmarkets – Another company related to OptiMarkets and CityBinary.com. The UK FCA also released a statement saying they’re not authorized to operate in the UK.
If the scams above have no explanation next to them, then they are listed more than likely because they’ve received poor ratings from multiple review sites and/or user-reviews.
List of Binary Option Scams
You don’t always know if a broker is a bad egg. Sometimes it takes awhile for these things to surface.
So here is a list of things rogue brokers do that earn them a place on our blacklist. If a broker does any of these things to you, we suggest you cash your money out ASAP.
Multiple card charges – There has been many complaints from customers about brokers charging their card multiple times. Often the first charge is authorized, but the rest are not. In other cases the broker charged the card without the customer’s say so.
False promises – Is this really a scam or a sales tactic? Either way it’s shady to promise people who may or may not know better (yet) they can get rich in minutes trading binary options.
No pays / late pays – It’s funny how brokers are helpful and friendly when you’re ready to make a deposit, only to disappear when you ask to cash out. These are harder to spot, so we suggest reading reviews and forum posts for complaints of no/late cash outs.
Bonus abuse – A common complaint from traders is when they can’t deposit because they have a bonus attached to their account and they haven’t completed the rollover terms.
Sometimes this is their fault (they didn’t read the terms and conditions). But often it’s the broker giving the customer a bonus even if they said they didn’t want it. Brokers do that so they can make you complete their rollover requirements (aka spend money on their site) knowing you’re likely to lose your money to them.
Changing terms – A broker will change their terms and conditions to back their side of an argument with a customer.
For example, I read about a case where there was a term stating traders couldn’t reverse more than 20 percent of their trades.
When a player tried to cash out the broker claimed the player had abused that rule and so he wouldn’t get his cash out. However, the trader had proof he didn’t reverse more than 10 percent of his trades (clearly confining to the rules). Instead of acknowledging their mistake the broker just changed the term to be open-ended (no specific percentage) so they could make whatever decision they wanted.
Changing terms while in the middle of an investigation is one of the sneakiest and shadiest things I’ve seen.
Customer service – Are they available? Do they dodge questions? Are they rude? You can tell a lot about a broker just by dealing with their customer service reps.
Those are the biggest and most common scams I’ve seen. Now let’s look at what options you have if a broker scams you.
What Can You Do If You’ve Been Scammed?
Honestly, your options are limited. Here’s what I suggest.
==> Have your lawyer send a threatening letter. Who knows how successful this will be, especially if this broker is located in a different country or jurisdiction. And it’ll cost you money. But it might scare the broker into action.
==> Complain to any government site or regulatory body of the jurisdictions the broker is operating in.
==> Complaint to your credit card company. If your card has been charged without your permission you can let them know and they’ll help you get your money back – likely through a charge back.
I also suggest sharing your story in some of the larger forums and on BinaryOptionsBlacklist.com. Not only will you help your fellow traders, but sometimes public scrutiny is enough to get brokers to work with you.
What Next – Where Are The Good Brokers And Trading Sites?