2nd August 2017

Hundreds of apps pulled over “financial scam fears”


The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have reviewed mobile app stores related to trading and discovered over 330 apps were unlicensed. Consequently, Apple and Google have removed hundreds of trading apps from their online app stores. ASIC have said they are pleased by the speed with which Apple and Google have responded.

The apps are relating to binary options trading, which encourages potential investors to make bets on whether currencies or shares will rise or fall. An increasing number of these are fraudulent apps. Some of the apps contained marketing messages that bragged that people could “Earn up to 90% in less than an hour, in fact you can profit quickly as 60 seconds and profit as much as 620% via one trade.”

Some investors made money in the demo mode but lost money once they moved to a live trading system. ASIC stated that some binary option reviews or education sites were “merely collecting personal information which could be used for high-pressure cold calling”. They have also been using false ratings and marketing slogans

Pensioners are the most common among the thousands of people being scammed every year by these apps. Some, reportedly, having lost their life savings. People struggle to recover their money lost in these apps because the trading platforms currently fall outside of UK financial regulations. One lawyer attempting to help recover money for the victims said the only hope is to get banks to freeze the accounts of the scammers. Fraudulent binary options trading may be one of the biggest financial scams around.