FSMA Issues Warning Against Eight Firms Involved in Boiler Room Scams

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Knowing the warning signs can stop you bBob is a consultant who lives providers of binary options and forex products recovery rooms and boiler rooms Christchurch. Their website looked legitimate. The online trading account opened for him showed the value of his shares was rising.

He became suspicious when the company told him the shares had been sold, and he would receive funds the following week. He never received any money. He continues to receive up to 6 unsolicited calls a day- which he ignores. The overseas company he used is not licensed in New Zealand.

We add company names to our warning lists as soon as we have enough information to make us realise investors should be wary of them. Once on the list companies regularly change their names. Diana works full-time and lives in the Bay of Plenty. She is married with children, owns a house, and invests in KiwiSaver and some term deposits. She clicked an ad on a Yahoo! The call centre was based in Scotland, so Diana felt confident her money was safe. Diana went ahead with this second investment, but later felt uneasy and asked to pull out of the trade.

She asked the broker not to contact her again, but he kept calling — usually very late at night. Providers of binary options and forex products recovery rooms and boiler rooms then, Diana has received cold calls from other similar companies. She has not had any money returned to her. The binary options company she used is based overseas and not licensed or regulated in New Zealand.

The way this company behaved was typical of a scam. He owns a property, has KiwiSaver, a company superannuation scheme and invests in New Zealand shares. A boiler room share scam involves bogus stockbrokers, usually based overseas, cold calling people to pressure them into buying shares that promise high returns. In reality, the shares are either worthless or non-existent. John was contacted by an Asian research company doing a survey of New Zealand businesses.

A week later, he received another call. This time it was from a trading company based in China asking if he wanted to purchase pre-IPO shares in Alibaba Group. After initially saying no, he was contacted again by another more professional and persuasive member of the trading company and convinced to set up a trading account. This time the offer was for shares Alibaba Group had asked them to sell on behalf of employees who wanted to free up their share packages.

These shares were more expensive but John was told the vice president was working on a sales package for all their clients for when the shares listed. John found online media coverage supporting this story and after doing some online research into the company and the vice president. A third member of the trading company serial and binary search in javascript contacted him, and remained in contact with John while the deal was finalised.

Since then, John has been contacted at least four more times providers of binary options and forex products recovery rooms and boiler rooms people claiming to be from legal firms acting on behalf of Alibaba Group. These callers have asked for further payments to help John recover his money.

His name has been changed to protect his identity. The company John was scammed by was called PFM-Trading but scammers such as these regularly change their company names.

Real life scam stories. Investors What's new Understanding the basics Ways to invest Deciding how to invest Manage your investments Getting financial advice KiwiSaver and superannuation Avoid scams Steps to protect yourself Types of scams Real life scam stories Free resources.

He said no, but out of interest, researched the company online and the shares offered. One week later, they called Bob again. The warning signs Many scams in New Zealand come via cold calls. Hang up if you get an unsolicited call about an investment offer. If the call is from overseas — be extra cautious.

Before you invest… Speak to a professional adviser Check the provider is licensed by us. A licensed provider offers you greater protections. This is when things got ugly. Always ask providers of binary options and forex products recovery rooms and boiler rooms a company is licensed.

Do your homework Check our lists of individuals, markets and businesses licensed or authorised to operate in New Zealand before you invest. How John was targeted John was contacted by an Asian research company doing a survey of New Zealand businesses.

The warning signs In hindsight, John recognised some warning signs: John now believes that by answering yes to this question he became a target. When John called them back a few days later, the same person answered the phone rather than a receptionist and this struck him as suspicious. The online trading account had a Reuters newsfeed which suddenly disappeared.

Be aware that sharing personal information with a stranger can leave you vulnerable to fraud or scams. Cold calls of any kind should be treated with suspicion. Before investing, check that the business is legitimate. One way to do this is to check that they are licensed to provide financial services in New Zealand. It is not difficult for criminals to create very credible-looking websites. This site says it checks websites for scam risk — but it gave the company that scammed John a high trust rating.

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Binary options are a type of option where you try to predict the short-term movements of a share price, currency, index or commodity. They are relatively new in Australia and are a speculative, high risk product. Here we explain what binary options are and the risks you need to know about before you consider trading them.

Binary options are also called 'all-or-nothing options', 'fixed return options' or 'digital options'. The payoff is either a fixed amount or nothing at all. With a binary option, you are trying to predict whether the price of an asset, a commodity or index, will be trading above or below a specified price at a specified time in the future. For example, will the share price of a company be trading above its current price in one hour? You can buy binary options on major market indices, foreign exchange rates, commodities and share prices.

You can choose the expiry date, however, contract times are usually very short, from a few minutes or hours to a few months in the future. Trading binary options may appear to be simple but picking the short-term movements of a share price, currency, index or commodity is extremely difficult, even for professionals. Binary options are a high risk speculative investment which, unless you are following a market carefully, are really just a bet or gamble on an asset price movement.

Unlike other types of options, a binary option does not give the option holder the right to purchase or sell the underlying asset. When a binary option reaches its expiry, the holder receives a fixed cash payout if they have picked the price movement correctly.

This is usually a percentage of the cost of the binary option contract. If you don't choose the price movement correctly, you lose your entire investment what you paid for the option. Binary options can be based on various products including shares, forex foreign exchange , economic events, commodities or market indexes. There are unlimited variations of these two types of binaries, including combinations with plain vanilla options.

Many structured products contain binary type rules where the interest on a deposit pays for the binary for an event to occur or not to occur. While binary options seem simple, picking short-term price movements of markets or asset prices is extremely difficult. Before you consider investing in binary options, it is very important that you understand how the type of binary option you are using works and how it is priced. You'll also need to be comfortable with the fact that you are risking all of the money you invest.

Most binary option providers operate through online platforms. Binary options are a financial product based on the underlying market or asset price moving in a certain way before the binary option expires. If the statement proves true, the binary option will settle at If the statement proves false, the binary option will settle at 0. If you agree with the binary statement you buy the binary option in anticipation of it settling at If you disagree with the binary option statement you sell the binary, expecting it to settle at zero.

Until expiry, the binary option price will move between 0 and depending on how likely the outcome is. Once you acquire a binary option, there are no further decisions for you to make as to whether or not to exercise the binary option because binary options exercise automatically.

Binary options traders must have an AFS licence. If you are setting up an account, make sure you are dealing with a licensed operator before you hand over copies of your personal identification documents, such as a driver's licence. Check operators are licensed on ASIC's professional registers. Richard visited the company's website and saw that they offered binary options on the shares of some large, well-known companies. He decided binary options were too risky for him and that he'd be better off focusing on his share portfolio.

Binary options are speculative, high risk products, where you can easily lose your entire investment. Once you buy a binary option contract you may not able to re-sell it before the expiry date. You need to understand the implied probability the true odds of an event occurring from the binary price. There may also be a risk that the binary options provider won't be able to fulfil its obligations to you if something goes wrong counterparty risk.

For example, if the provider became insolvent, you may be ranked as an unsecured creditor and have difficulty getting your money back.

If you are looking to invest in binary options through a mobile app or using a mobile app for advice about binary options, make sure you do your checks first.

An app may look professional, but the company or individual behind it may be difficult to identify, may be based overseas and may not be licensed by ASIC. Keep in mind that trading in binary options through an app is a highly risky investment. Binary options are a high risk, unpredictable investment option. Before you invest, seek professional financial advice to make sure they are suitable for you. What is binary trading? Types of binary options Buying and selling binary options Risks of binary options What is binary trading?

Binary option payouts Unlike other types of options, a binary option does not give the option holder the right to purchase or sell the underlying asset. Types of binary options Binary options can be based on various products including shares, forex foreign exchange , economic events, commodities or market indexes. There are two main types of binary options available, which include: Buying and selling binary options Most binary option providers operate through online platforms.

Don't send documents to unlicensed providers Binary options traders must have an AFS licence. Warning about binary options trading apps If you are looking to invest in binary options through a mobile app or using a mobile app for advice about binary options, make sure you do your checks first.

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