Binary Options Funds Recovery Scams
Lost money in a binary options scam? What if you could get it back? What would you be willing to pay for a chance to recover some of your lost investments?
Over the past couple of years, we have watched the binary options world collapse like dominoes. Regulators around the world have tightened restrictions and passed outright bans. Consumers are finally catching onto the numerous scams which proliferated over the previous years — and many are now scrambling to try and get back the cash they lost to the fraudsters.
But before you each out to a binary options “recovery” service or accept an offer from a company or individual which has contacted you personally — there is something you should know. A lot of binary options recovery offers are themselves scams.
Fraudsters Are Targeting the Most Vulnerable Consumers
Binary options recovery scams have been cropping up all over the globe. Scammers know that consumers who have lost money to binary options fraud are ideal targets for a couple of reasons:
- First of all, these customers were scammed in the past. They have proven themselves to be open to manipulation. Those who have been scammed once may more likely to be successfully scammed again.
- Consumers trying to recover funds are desperate, and they are angry. Since they are thinking emotionally, they may jump into what seems to be an opportunity to get their money back without doing proper research.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of binary options recovery schemes which have cropped up in the news of late. These scams are particularly pernicious, since the con artists did not just offer their services as private businesses — they pretended to be with the government.
Mr. Villard Pretends to Be with the AMF
One binary options recovery scheme in France has caused so much trouble the AMF was forced to publish an official warning to the public.
One “Mr. Villard” has been contacting French consumers who have fallen prey to binary options scams, and has stated that he represents the AMF.
Disturbingly, this entity has done its homework. Consumers reporting Mr. Villard have stated that he contacted them with very specific details. He knew what trading sites they had used, and how much money they had lost.
Because Mr. Villard presented the logo and contact details of the AMF when he reached out to these consumers, it was easy for them to believe that he was an official representative of the AMF.
By taking advantage of this trust, Mr. Villard has been able to drain the accounts of these scam victims even further through his own con.
Frank Gregory Cedeno and Leonel Valerio Santana Pose as Agents of the SEC
Another case to make international headlines was that concerning Frank Gregory Cedeno and Leonel Valerio Santana. These two individuals operated between 2015 and 2017, and pretended they were with the SEC. They specifically went after traders who had invested in binary options through companies which the CFTC and SEC have since sued.
As with Mr. Villard in France, Gregory Cedeno and Leonel Valerio Santana went out of their way to make themselves look legit. They went beyond using materials which appeared to originate from the SEC, and actually engaged in identity theft. Consumers who were contacted by them who took the time to look up the names they were using believed they were dealing with
Before they were caught, Cedeno and Santana were successful in stealing $235,000 from their victims. They claimed the “fees” they were charging were required in order for the victims to collect on SEC lawsuit settlements.
Since then, the government has taken action against Santana, seeking that he serve a 78-month prison sentence and pay restitution to the tune of $105,869.74. That means that at least some of the money should be returned to the victims, but obviously this is not the whole sum.
Be Wary of Chargeback Scams
As if these government agency impostors were not enough, there is yet another type of binary options funds recovery scam out there. Sometimes fraudsters do not claim to be with a government agency at all. They admit to being private individuals or businesses. As such, they appear to be upfront. They offer to help you recover your lost money — for a fee.
All these entities are doing is walking you through the chargeback process where you attempt to have charges to your credit card reversed. There is often an upfront fee as well as a fee upon successful recovery of your money.
You might think it is worth it to pay a fee for such a service if it increases your odds of success. But no third party is empowered to initiate a chargeback for you. You and you alone can do it. You have to go directly through the card issuer or bank.
Actually, chargebacks succeed more often than you might think — and quite often, you do not even need to go through the process. All you have to do is threaten the binary options company.
Tell them what you plan on doing, and they may just give you the money back. Why? Because if too many customers succeed in chargebacks against them, the credit card company may simply decide to blacklist them.
So do not waste more precious money on chargeback scams. Just handle the chargeback on your own.
What Should You Do If You Are Contacted with a Binary Options Recovery Offer?
It is important to be wary of any offer you receive to help you recover funds you lost trading binary options. If you are contacted, here are some tips to help you stay safe.
- Be alert for red flags. If you are entitled to a settlement from a court case, you do not need to pay a fee to receive the money which is rightfully yours. If someone demands you pay a fee, you are dealing with a scammer. Similarly, if you are subjected to a lot of pushiness and aggression, that is also a sign that someone is attempting to con you.
- Run a quick background check on any individual that contacts you. Do not simply take it on faith that they represent the SEC or any other agency.
- If you are in any doubt, go a step further and contact the SEC or the applicable agency in your country. Ask someone straight up to check into the matter for you and let you know who you might be dealing with.
If You Lost Money Through a Binary Options Scam, You Are Entitled to
The main thing to remember when it comes to binary options scams is that you are the victim. You already have suffered financial losses through the illegal actions of another. If the court orders restitution, you, as the victim, are entitled to receive your share.
If you had to pay a fee to receive that money, that would be a predatory practice — you would simply end up being victimized again. The government is not out to further bleed your accounts dry, and will not demand that you pay unfair fees in order to receive money from a settlement.
So protecting yourself is simple. Do not pay money to get money that rightfully is owed to you, and always contact government agencies directly to follow up on offers you receive. Doing so will protect you from additional losses, and also alert the government to potential scams which could cause further harm to others.