MONTRÉAL, June 23, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Autorité des marchés financiers ("AMF") is reminding Québec consumers to be cautious about schemes by unregistered foreign companies encouraging them to invest in binary options via on-line trading platforms.
The AMF is particularly concerned about schemes that specifically solicit investors who have lost money or who have been unable to recover their money after investing via unauthorized on-line trading platforms in the past few months. In some cases, callers even claim that they have been mandated by a regulator, such as the AMF, to help investors recoup a specific amount of the money recently lost by trading on an unregistered platform.
The AMF also recently became aware that material from its website had been copied by a company claiming to be mandated by a foreign regulator to administer a compensation fund. This company's website is no longer available.
The AMF reminds consumers that investing in binary options via unauthorized trading platforms is very risky and could result in difficulty recovering money and even identity theft. In addition, these losses cannot be covered by the financial services compensation fund, as the transactions were carried out with companies not registered with the AMF.
Binary options are a sort of "wager" where investors bet on the performance of an underlying asset, often a currency, stock index or share, usually in a short period of time. When that period is up, the investor receives a pre-determined payout or loses his wager. It's an "all or nothing" proposition.
On-line derivatives trading: A regulated activity
Offering investment services or products, whether from an on-line platform or in person, is a regulated activity. Investors should always check with the AMF before investing. Any company offering Quebeckers on-line trading or investing services must be registered with the AMF and authorized to market derivatives.
New platforms identified
Below is the AMF's updated list of websites that are not authorized to offer investment products and services in Québec. The five platforms most recently identified as suspicious are shown in bold.
The list is updated when new unauthorized sites are brought to the AMF's attention. Check our Investor Warnings section regularly to make sure you have the most up-to-date list.
This list is not exhaustive: Always check whether the person or company with whom you are considering investing is duly authorized.
Unauthorized trading platforms
The Autorité des marchés financiers (the "AMF") is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.