It’s been several years since binary options trading and binary options robots became an Internet fad and for a moment, everyone was interested in getting into the venture. It was seen as the new avenue of making it big in the world of financial trading. The opportunities were countless, the possibilities infinite with multiple binary options brokers and automated trading systems. For all of 15 minutes, Wall Street and basically any other business venture was under threat, people were making money from binary options and making no secret of it. Suddenly, everyone was looking into ways of getting into the venture, with high hopes of getting rid of the embarrassing middle class tag and maybe, just maybe, hit the ‘big one’. However, recent occurrences (massive complaints, reports of fraudulent activities etc etc) have changed the collective perception of the populace towards a venture they considered The Common Man’s Wall Street.
I mean, all you needed to get into binary options was an Internet connection and a deposit of (mostly) $250, nothing more. There is basically little to no paperwork involved and certainly no waiting periods, except when withdrawing using wire transfer, unlike in stock trading where the legal and capital requirements are a bit overwhelming.
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Where everyone thought opportunities were endless, they found a sickening number of scams and cons skilled in the art of deception and thereafter, disappearance. Of course, in every aspect of human existence, it has always been survival for the fittest, as good ol’ Darwin put it. There are always some people who use their brains, or in most cases, lack thereof, to take advantage of others. Financial trading is no different and conmen exist even in the inner sanctums of Wall Street. Unfortunately, in binary options, the scams are more than the real ones, making it hard to differentiate between the two. For most people, that is. The reason for this is that human beings, have always been, are, and will always be greedy, especially where money and/or wealth is concerned. The tricksters know that very well and craft strategies to capitalize on people’s greed for money and are almost always successful. That warrants debate on whether binary options is really profitable or a game of luck, and false hopes just like gambling.
Is Binary Options a Viable Investment Option?
Many people who are involved in binary options trading will tell you that the reason they chose to get involved in the first place was that, compared to gambling, binary options looked more legit and viable in the long run. And that is true to a large extent. But the question of profitability has never really been addressed. As it stands, if you visit any binary options online community, you will be shocked by the large number of complaints (most of which are laced with profanities) from traders who lost money in unclear circumstances. These are often against certain brokers and auto traders, some of which have closed down after overwhelming online outrage.
That aside, binary options is a viable investment option, just like stock trading is. If you look hard enough, you will find quite a number of traders who have achieved great success in trading binary options, a good example being our team here. However, unlike stock trading, and pretty much like gambling, it takes good strategy, consistency and patience to succeed in binary options. And not only that, choosing the right broker and/or auto trader, if auto trading is your thing, has a lot of bearing on your success, or lack thereof.
Causes of Losses in Binary Options
Now, to the issue of traders losing their money, brokers are always the first people to receive the blame, and in more times than not, they are the guilty party. Nonetheless, while we admit that the presence of scams in the market is to blame for most of the (suspicious) losses made by traders, it is imperative to note that there could be a bunch of other things that could lead to one losing their investment. These include:
Lack of experience – Quite frankly, most of the complaints we’ve seen are from new traders. These traders don’t know much about financial markets and probably got into binary options because they read/heard that the profits are huge. When getting into the trade, most people don’t care about doing comprehensive background research on the best brokers and trading strategies to use to ensure not only one-off success, but consistent results. Such traders are so blinded by the huge amounts of money they hope to make, or were ‘guaranteed’ by some deceptive broker that they can’t see anything else. One of them being the need for dire preparation and knowledge about how financial markets behave and why they do so. In addition to that, money management skills are very crucial to ensure the investment per trade is proportional to the possible losses and expected profits.
You don’t want to put in $150 on a trade with a 65% payout while the risk of losing the whole amount is higher. Also, lack of experience affects how effectively one uses the (usually) provided analysis tools like technical graphs, indicators and charts to know which option(s) to buy. Thus, before pointing fingers at the broker or your auto trader for your losses, first ask yourself if your lack of experience is to blame. And five out of ten times, it is to blame.
Poor money management – This is directly connected to the above paragraph but not really the same thing. See, you could be an expert analyst in financial matters and even succeeded as a trader in other instruments but still fail to replicate the same when it comes to binary options. In this case, there is a high chance that your money management skills are poor, which translates to poor money making potential. Binary options, just like gambling, requires a clear and focused mind that can make decisions that are free from emotional responses. For most traders, this is extremely difficult to achieve and they find themselves to have invested a lot in a trade that promised extra high payouts only for it to end up out of the money. Similarly, you may invest a very low amount in a trade that had low payouts that had an In The Money (ITM) finish.
Say you placed the two trades together; the profit you realize from the second trade won’t be enough to make up for the loss you made in the first. Eventually, if the same trend continues, your trading account will contract to levels dangerously close to sub zero, and you might as well be applying for bankruptcy. And of course you will point fingers at your broker, like everyone does. As a matter of fact, a good trader uses the first deposit (in addition to the bonus) to make money for all his future trades, plus withdrawals. If the only thing you’re doing is making deposits and not withdrawals, we suggest you audit your trading strategies before thinking of blaming, or changing, your broker.
Greed – Admittedly, brokers take part of the blame for this, for “adding wood to the fire” so to speak. See, human beings have an inborn greed for wealth and success that has puzzled scientists up to this day. This greed usually overwhelms logic and common sense which makes it easy for con men to easily get their daily bread, and wine, and pizza. All they have to do is bait their prey by using statements like ‘Sign Up Today to earn $50k per week’ and they are sure to catch some fish. We are not trying to defend the actions of the numerous predators waddling in the binary options pool but rather encouraging you to use your common sense just a little bit more and you’ll never find yourself a victim.
Now that we have established the secondary causes of loss in binary options, it is time to focus on the main culprits – scam sites. These are in both the brokerage and auto trading sector and are pretty advanced in their scheming. As it were, the number of legit brokers can be counted with the fingers in both hands and still leave room to give a stunning middle finger salute to the scams. To better understand the intricacies of these scams, it is important to first understand how they work.
The Anatomy of a Scam
A lot of people have written to us asking for clues on how to recognize a scam. For us, it is very easy to recognize a scam just by the presentation of their website but unfortunately it is not that easy for majority of the traders. Nonetheless, we will share some of the giveaways that tell you if the site you’re dealing with is a scam. Now, most binary options brokers will advertise themselves as offering low risks, high returns (some even quote unbelievable figures) and most importantly, that you can’t lose more than you should. To an extent, all that is true. The degree to which it is true is very much dependent on the particular broker you are using.
The thing with scam artists is, they aren’t the best creatives we have in the world and all of them read from the same script, with just a few tweaks on the words and figures. This is why it is very unfortunate, to the point of being embarrassing, that there is always a bunch of people falling victim every single time. That binary options remains, for the most part an unregulated venture does not make it any better. If governments all over the world were serious about resolving the issue of their citizens losing money to online fraud, you can be sure there would be no scams. Or at least the number would be minimal. Nonetheless, traders need to have a deep understanding of the financial world in general and binary options as a financial instrument in particular to completely avoid unnecessary losses. If anything else fails, proper education and use of logic always work.
How to Recognize a Scam
Talking about being informed, below are the things that tell you that a particular site is a scam, and will drain your account faster than you can figure out their name:
Identity of owners is ambiguous
If you look closely at the reviews we have compiled over the years, you will note that we always had an issue with the so called site owners having ambiguous, and often fake identities. Some will give stupid names like Allan Trader or Binary Byron in an attempt to hide their real names and effectively eliminate the chances of getting sued. As it stands, most cons who set up fraudulent sites get away with it since tracking them is really hard. For one, you can’t report a nameless person from an undisclosed country. Two, very few countries have laws in place to control online trading which complicates things. Most importantly, many traders don’t know what to do, or where to go when they lose their money in unclear circumstances. Again, the need to have proper education and knowledge on both the economic and legal landscape is very apparent here. Anyways, dealing with a regulated broker will make things a bit easier. Oh, and if the owner’s name sounds funny and/or too unique, run. Just run.
No presence on social media? No thanks
This is pretty obvious, if the broker or auto trader you are thinking of signing up for is not on Facebook or any social platform, do you still need to be told that they’re up to no good? All decent brands are interested in interacting with their customers on social media and if a particular broker is not, it is probably a scam. Bottom line, if they aren’t on Facebook or Twitter, they aren’t for real. End of.
Too good to be true
The wise men weren’t fronting when they said if it sounds too good to be true, best believe that it’s too good to be true. In this case, if the promises that a certain site makes sounds too good, better think twice before clicking on the Sign Up button. Anything along the lines of “100% ITM software giving you $1000 per day” falls perfectly within the too good to be true category. In fact, anyone who gives you a definite figure of how much to expect is too good to be true. In binary options, there are no guarantees, the underlying situations keep changing and a stock that is performing very well today may take a downward spiral in the next two days, due to one reason or another. As such, it is very difficult to predict future earnings and anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is only baiting you. And you will be left crying after they take off with your money.
This one doesn’t need further explanation. When you land at a broker’s site, the first thing you should do is check the bottom of the page for a license. Every licensed broker will display their license number and state the body that licensed them. The Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission, better known as CySEC, is the most credible regulator when it comes to binary options. Any serious broker should have a CySEC license and those who don’t are most likely scams. Never sign up with a broker without a CySEC license no matter how good they look at the surface. This is a condition that you shouldn’t compromise on.
When it comes to auto traders, there are no regulatory authority involved in giving licenses yet. However, the auto trader does have to be regulated since technically, you don’t put up money with the trading system but with the broker. Thus, when looking for an auto trader, be sure to check if the listed brokers are regulated. Generally, an auto trader affiliated with renown and regulated brokers is more likely to be legit than one affiliated with unknown sites.
We always recommend checking with us before making a decision on which broker to sign up with. This is because it might not be easy for you to read between the lines and tell if what is said in the site is true or not.
How Does The Scam Work?
The rise of the binary market has attracted many con artists to the foray, and they start even before you open your account. In order to understand whether the brokerage site you are visiting is genuine or a fake, you must have some basic knowledge about how these scams work? The following text will try to answer this question.
They disguise you with a fake website which looks like a legit binary option broker
They promise exorbitant success ration on their signal services, some even goes on to guarantee it.
They use the web for fake reviews and testimonials under multiple names to trap you.
As soon as you join such scams, you lose your initial deposit amount.
Once your deposit has been lost, you get a call from so called senior broker asking you to deposit further funds.
These are the general steps followed by the binary broking scams. It is advisable, if you see any of the above signs, just stay away from them.
Types of Binary Options Scams
The unparalleled rise in the binary options trading has attracted several new traders in the market. Unaware about how things work in the binary arena they come with very high expectations from the binary trading. Such newbies fall prey to the sharks of the binary arena or so called scam artists. They advertise themselves with some unheard payouts and consistent revenue stream to lure the investors. Once, these newbies have enrolled themselves then only they realize that they have been conned. The regulators in the several parts of the world are aware of this nuisance and have identified three types of fraudsters in the financial markets. The following text enlists them in detail.
Brokers Who Block Withdrawals
This is the first type of scam artists. Once you enroll with such brokers and make a deposit, and try to request a withdrawal, you just can’t. sometimes, such brokers go even step further and calls you up to deposit further funds to initiate the withdrawals by making some nonsense argument of how beneficial it is to deposit further funds to your account. Then, the nimble trader request for withdrawal which is now repeatedly denied, your phone calls go unanswered, and your e-mails to the customer support start bouncing. All your attempts to get your own money goes in vain with some point in terms and conditions or having no one in the organization to listen to your requests. Then only you realize that you have been conned, while, the realization would not have cost a million but surely few hundred dollars.
Such scam artist advertises being one of the best in the business and offers unrealistic gains by trading with them. So, how to avoid such con artists? Read on:
Do comprehensive research about the brokerage house even before thinking about depositing funds. Search the internet for the available online reviews about the brokerage house, specifically, on the third party websites and social forums. The customer often reports such con artists on various forums so that other don’t get trapped.
Thoroughly read terms and conditions on the website along with the FAQ relating to the deposits and withdrawals. You must be aware of any restrictions in terms of a minimum deposit and a minimum withdrawal.
When you are starting with a new broker to start your binary trading journey, only make a deposit of minimum amount as indicated in their terms and conditions. After depositing funds, try a test withdrawal in accordance with their terms and conditions before building up the account and adding further funds in the account.
If you receive a phone call from the broker to add funds to your existing account in order to make it big then the first thing you should do is try and withdraw the existing amount from the account and start searching for a genuine broker.
Scam Artists Who Steal Identity
Such scam artists go even a step further, they not only try to steal your money, they also steal your identity to take more money from you. The requirements of Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer guidelines are followed by all the brokers, which requires them to ask you about your proof of identity, address and sometimes, a copy of your credit card, and hence it is a challenge to avoid. You may have provided your credit card details while making the payment or provided your identity proof to initiate a withdrawal or provided a copy of your credit card (back and front) or you may be asked to provide Social Security Number. You may be asked to provide faxes of such proofs, we recommend not to comply such requests.
If you have even a slightest of a doubt about the brokerage house, just avoid or avoid using your credit card to make the deposits instead you can use other modes of electronic payments like e-wallets, which secures your identity.
We are not saying that every broker in the binary arena is a scam artist who asks for credit card details, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. Specifically, you should be aware of the brokers who does not require your identity proof while enrolling but demand proofs before initiating withdrawal requests.
Some pointers to avoid such scam artists:
As always, make a thorough research about the company even before thinking about depositing funds. The internet is a great source of information, and there are websites and forums which provide independent advice on several brokers, read each of the available reviews about the website before initiating the registration process.
Read the terms and conditions, and FAQ on the respective broker’s website to gain a complete knowledge about the withdrawal process and its requirements. If you still have a doubt, make a call to the customer service department of the broker to verify that they will not compromise your identity and will not ask you to comply later on.
PS: In a circumstance where you need to provide a copy of your credit card, then you must black out the middle eight digits on the front of the card, and CVV number on the back of the card to be safe.
Trade Manipulating Brokers
This is the most sophisticated than the other two but could cost a fortune over a period of time. Such brokers manipulate the software to generate losses to the traders. The most common technique used is: the trade expires after it was set to, and suddenly, your trade jumps from in-the-money to out of the money. You make a call to their customer service which ultimately denies giving reference to the terms and conditions of the site about technical glitches. The repeated occurrence of such episode is a big warning signal for the traders, and one must exit entire funds from such websites.
There are other aspects in the binary arena which is managed by such scam artists. For instance, sudden changes in payouts for no obvious reasons, and a price fluctuation of an underlying asset without a convincing reasoning. However, you must remember that the most common reason for losing a trade is because you did something wrong, and not your broker. In other words, do not impose your own mistake onto the broker and label them scam artists.
Avoiding this scam:
Once more, research, research, and more research! Always, make an effort to learn more about the brokerage house through various independent websites, customer forums, and social media to gain a complete knowledge. We are reiterating again that you must research thoroughly about any brokerage site before even thinking about depositing funds.
To identify such brokers, you must keep your eyes wide open while trading and lookout for any sign of suspicious price jump and suspicious expiry moves. If it is a once in a blue moon kind of an event then it is okay, though less likely, but if it repeats more than once, just beware. If anything looks suspicious then you must try and withdraw all your funds and start researching for another broker.
You must remember that the binary options trading is not a scam by itself – it is just an another way of trading financial instruments. However, there are some con artists at play who tries to take the advantage of novice traders and steal their money. Just to be aware of such con artists, you must research well before making any commitments to the brokerage website.
Avoid These Things in The Binary Options Trading
We have already discussed how the scam artist works, and what are types of the scam artists who are at play in the binary trading arena. Now, we will discuss some of the most common mistakes traders make and fall prey to the con artists. By avoiding these mistakes, you can keep these con artists at arm’s length.
Registering with the new brokers: The binary options trading has been around for quite some time and there are some brokers who have proven track record. So, it does not make sense to get register to the new brokers unless and until you are absolutely sure about it.
Not knowing T&C of bonuses: Bonuses are a great way to increase your initial balance, but they come with certain terms and conditions. These conditions restrict the withdrawal until you meet their requirements, and hence, you must read the terms and conditions along with the FAQ about the bonuses on their website.
Managed Accounts: You should never, and I repeat never, allow any third party including the account manager from the brokerage house, to trade on your behalf. The offering of the managed accounts is a one-way to lure the investors in their scheme of things.
Don’t gamble, strategize: The binary trading is not a gambling but it can become one if you treat as a random investment. There are several strategies available to invest for the long or short term. Not using such strategies will definitely make you lose.
Don’t’ bet your account: As a beginner, you must not risk a large amount on a single trade. The binary trading is a long-term association and not a get rich quick scheme. So trade wisely.
Despite everything you might have heard/read, binary options is as legit as the constitution itself. As long as you know how to separate the legit brokers/auto traders from the scams, you will achieve your goals. Above all, do plenty of research and asking around. It actually works.
That said, we would like to deflect your attention from the scams that we’ve been talking about all through to the few legit sites that exist amid the spoilt fish. As far as brokers go, IqOptions and Banc de Binary are arguably the 2 most accomplished and legit brokers in the world. If you search for The Best Binary Options Brokers in the World and you don’t see any, or both of them in the search results, you can be sure that the results are fake. Banc de Binary, for instance, was established in 2010 and has survived every tide to make it to 2016. On auto traders, there are quite a number of legit systems around but we generally recommend Binary Options Robot which has both high accuracy and payouts. Most importantly, all the brokers linked to the robot are regulated by CySEC, which is our standard requirement.
Good luck finding the right broker/auto trader for you.
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Michael Allen is the main author at www.binaryoptionrobotinfo.com. He holds a PhD in Economics and has worked in investment banking for 24 years.
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