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This story was published in partnership with The Daily Mail. Their version can be found here. Ali was later left unable to work after being hit by a car in February, and pleaded with BinaryBook that she was desperate for money — but to no avail. Binary options investments involve betting on whether the price of certain assets, such as shares, currencies or commodities, will go up or down within a specific time period.
Even when the bets are legitimately placed they are hugely risky, but police say the industry is rife with fraudulent brokers. While other countries have banned this business, a regulatory loophole has left UK victims completely unprotected, despite police saying binary options trading has become one of the biggest frauds in the UK. Binary options trading is not overseen by the Financial Conduct Authority FCA because it is classed as gambling rather than a form of investment.
But it is not overseen by the Gambling Commission either, because that institution only regulates operators that have equipment based in Britain. Since then, no action has been taken. A group of binary options investors including Ali is now taking legal action in Britain against BinaryBook, claiming the company has misled them and refused to release their money when requested. If successful the case could open the floodgates to thousands of claimants who say they have been ripped off by binary options websites around the world.
He was approached in by a US client who said BinaryBook shut down his account after he threatened to sue the broker for denying his withdrawal requests. BinaryBook uses the name of a UK-registered marketing company, WSB Investment Ltd, in various publicity materials — so Howlett made an application with British authorities for that company to be wound up. Selachii and the liquidators are still seeking creditors. I would encourage anyone who thinks they have an outstanding investment held by BinaryBook to contact my firm or the joint liquidators to register their interest.
When the pair finally spoke the broker persuaded Price to continue trading. It has asked for the winding up to be halted and numerous bank accounts associated with WSB Investment — some of which hold large offshore funds — to be unfrozen. The corporate structures behind unregulated binary options outfits usually involve several international jurisdictions, including secretive tax havens, meaning the identity of the companies which actually own them is often totally obscured.
Sales are usually outsourced to third party call centres, which often tend to be based in Israel — the capital of the global binary options industry — and Romania.
Initial approaches by salespeople to potential clients are made from a Mauritius-based call centre run by a company called Linkopia. Some clients are then passed on to a company named Yukom based in Israel. The two companies provide call centre services for several other binary option brands besides BinaryBook. He accepts that the companies convert leads into clients for BinaryBook. But he denies that the company acts as a broker itself and says staff do not manage customer accounts and have never prevented customer withdrawals.
The Bureau has spoken to a former Linkopia staff member who says he worked on BinaryBook and another controversial binary options brand. Customers would leave their phone numbers after watching the videos online. Withdrawal requests were referred on to another team, he claimed, and in his experience many were refused. Despite high wages and company perks such as a trip to South Africa, Haji left Linkopia after three months.
A spokesman for Linkopia said: A Yukom corporate video shows top-performing staff receiving BMWs tied up with ribbons last summer, and in November Yukom flew some 30 employees to the Greek island of Rhodes for a holiday. He also claimed the employees decided whether or not to allow clients to withdraw their money when they asked to. David also claimed it was the job of one Yukom staff member to persuade banks and credit card companies not to refund money to customers who claimed to have been defrauded.
US authorities have banned binary options call centres targeting their citizens. Haji says he personally called clients in the USA when he was at Linkopia.
He started trading with the firm in August He was promised he could withdraw money at any time. Dean says he then realised Brandon had apparently not invested in the tech stocks they had discussed, but had traded in completely different shares. He says he has since been prevented from withdrawing his remaining funds. He was told Brandon had placed long term trades which would not mature for six months. Dean has registered as a creditor with Selachii and is waiting to see if he will get any money back as a result of the liquidation.
Melanie has been at the Bureau since , reporting on areas such as lobbying, health and social care and police response to rape. I recently recovered funds from a scam broker, Omega Options. They intentionally make you loose trades so you deposit more money. I had to hire a professional to get my money back. Lesson learnt, happy to share my experience. Published November 2 By Melanie Newman. One of the biggest frauds in the UK Even when the bets are legitimately placed they are hugely risky, but police say the industry is rife with fraudulent brokers.
Legal action in Britain A group of binary options investors including Ali is now taking legal action in Britain against BinaryBook, claiming the company has misled them and refused to release their money when requested. Many of the creditors say they have been denied access to their money. John Price says he lost thousands of pounds to BinaryBook while sick with cancer. A Facebook post by a Yukom salesman.
About The Author Melanie Newman Melanie has been at the Bureau since , reporting on areas such as lobbying, health and social care and police response to rape. Comments Ralph Coffman May 1st, Katrins Ab Rahman Aug 7th, Marius Delport Aug 14th, Leave this field blank. Your reply to Eric. Hart Aug 28th, Damien Speers Sep 4th, Robert Rosenfeld Sep 7th, Ashley Grow Oct 13th, Vanessa Joseph Nov 17th, Ravi Dabral Jan 24th, Bernard Khoo Jan 31st, Ahmed Riaz Feb 26th, Peter Mar 9th, More From Binary Options.