Against the background of the announced intentions of Canadian Securities Administration (CSA) to ban advertising, offering, selling or otherwise trading a binary option to an individual in Canada, one of the provincial regulators – the Manitoba Securities Commission (MSC) released alarming data.
According to the regulator’s publication, only in the first four months of 2017, the number of complaints against binary options brokers was 17. One of the complainants reported to have lost CAD 130 000 to an offshore binary options company. Another was defrauded out of CAD 300 000.
In comparison, in 2015 the complaints against unauthorized binary options brokers were barely four, while in 2016 the number rose to 58.
“This continues to be the biggest investment scam targeting Manitobans,” said Jason Roy, senior investigator with MSC, and chair of the Canadian Securities Administrators’ (CSA) Binary Options Fraud Task Force., “We are getting reports on this nearly every week, and for every report we receive, we know there are more people out there who haven’t come forward because of fear or embarrassment. And perhaps even worse, there are more people out there in Manitoba—and across Canada—right now who don’t realize they’re being conned.”
Earlier this week the CSA published a consultation paper seeking to impose a blanket ban on binary options in Canada. Currently they are not explicitly prohibited, but there are no authorized binary options brokers in the country.
An eventual official ban at least would remove any ambiguity about the legality of binary options sales to Canadians; it will be illegal, the MSC notes.