The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced it has found 330 mobile binary options apps offered by unlicensed entities being offered to Australians.
Of them 63% were trading applications, 25% were from signal providers and the rest were controlled by introducing brokers or were apps designed to influence people to trade binary options, the regulator said.
Worse still, many of the apps were making misleading statements and promises for profits, like “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” or “[our app] generates around 85% profitable signals from the top traders to guarantee the safe trading”. Most of the apps (80%) did not mention the risk of binary options trading.
Some binary options review or education sites and apps were collecting personal information which could be used for high-pressure cold calling. Some of the app developer sites promoted their ability to deliver traffic to casino, lottery, forex, and binary option service providers.
ASIC has contacted Apple and Google about the apps and they were swiftly removed from the respective stores. Besides, not long ago Apple changed its developer guidelines banning all binary options applications from the iTunes app store.
“This is a timely reminder for investors to remain vigilant and not fall for flashy advertising or hard selling”, ASIC Commission Cathie Armour said. “Investors also need to make sure any financial service provider, regardless of the way that financial service is being provided, is adequately licensed and authorised to provide those services.