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More than 100 investors from Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia parked in excess of US$20 million. According to the brochure, investors could expect to break even after 8.3 months for all plans. Under a 15-month investment plan with monthly payouts of 12 per cent, a US$600,000 sum would generate monthly returns of US$72,000. This translates to a return of 180 per cent and total returns of US$1.08 million or a net profit of US$480,000, after 15 months.
CFSM sent letters to investors in 2015 and 2016 attributing the delays in monthly payouts to reasons such as "major fluctuations" in global markets and the "sliding of oil prices". Investors never hear from them after that.
When a binary option is purchased on broker's platform, a contract is created that gives the buyer (known here as the investor) the right to buy an underlying asset at a fixed price, within a specified time frame wih the seller (broker). The option must be held until maturity (even if that is five minutes away); unlike regular options it cannot be sold before then.
The basic premise for the binary options site uses is at a specific time, say 1:25 p.m, you can put down perhaps $100 that XYZ stock will either increase or decrease in price within five minutes—by 1:30 p.m. If you are wrong, you get $15 back. If you are right, you win about $70.
Mathematically, the site has an edge and you must be right 55% of the time in order for your bet to have a neutral expected value. With some understanding of probability, the online gambling markets, and how these sites work. Very few people outside of professional traders can beat the trading sites consistently for good money.
For starters, this sort of thing can quickly become addictive, especially to market junkies. Although the amounts bet may be small, the total can quickly add up if many trades are done in a day. It wouldn't take long for things to get out of hand. Secondly, no one, no matter how knowledgeable, can consistently predict what a stock or commodity will do within a short time frame. As such, you will never win over longer term.
Binary Options Trading Scam
The scam starts before the investor even opens their brokerage account!
Many new binary option traders get hooked by a video about binary trading signals, or a binary options robot.
The Scam Works Like This:
A fake company opens a website that looks like a legitimate binary options broker.
They create a trading signals software that promises 100% accuracy, and some write 100% guarantee.
They advertise their trading system under multiple names, with fake testimonials.
When you join the scam, you quickly lose your initial deposit of $250.
You then get a phone call from a “senior broker” asking you to invest $5000.
Below are reviews of many different binary signals software. You should first see BlackBoxRobot.com.
At least 30 people, including finance executives and retirees, have made complaints over losses in trading of binary options, with one person US$150,000 (S$216,000) out of pocket, the police said yesterday.
These investors have lost more than $1 million to unregulated trading platforms, police had said on Wednesday. The complaints began escalating in May, with officers believing victims were lured into the risky trades by websites - mostly unregulated entities claiming to be based in places such as Britain, Cyprus and Hong Kong - promising high returns and other rewards.
Police issued a warning on Wednesday, advising investors to check lists compiled by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to find out which investment service providers are regulated.
Police yesterday advised the public to be careful when trading online in binary options, noting that there has been a sharp rise in complaints involving such trading.
In binary options trading, investors try to predict if the price of a financial product - shares or currencies, for instance - will be above or below a specified price at a specified point in time, ranging from a few minutes to a few months in the future.
They receive a fixed amount of money if the prediction is correct, or lose the investment otherwise.
SINGAPORE - There has been a "sharp rise" in complaints involving online trading in binary options, the police said in a news release on Wednesday (Dec 14).
To date, the Commercial Affairs Department has received more than 30 reports from investors who have lost more than $1 million to unregulated binary options trading platforms.
According to the police, most of the investors were local Chinese men aged between 31 and 50, and included finance professionals and retirees.
Sports Arbitrage Betting Scam
20 say they lost S$1m in investment scam Oct2016
Victims were told the betting programe was legal as bets were not placed in Singapore.
Bank employee Jeffrey Tan considers himself to be savvy in making financial investments.
But last December, the 30-year- old began putting $20,000 in an offshore sports arbitrage betting company and went on to lose half of it.
He also persuaded about six friends and his parents to invest about $200,000 in all. They lost all their money.
"I felt so guilty for dragging them in that I tried to kill myself," he said, showing The Straits Times a letter from Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he was hospitalised for depression after taking an overdose.
He claims to have fallen victim to a sports betting syndicate run by 33-year-old Singaporean Alvin Ang Jun Bin, who claimed to be representing Isle of Man-registered offshore betting company Keystone Trading in Singapore. He has made a police report against Mr Ang.
Police confirmed that more than 20 reports have now been lodged against Mr Ang. The alleged victims, mostly in their 20s and early 30s, have set up a WhatsApp chat group to share information.
Their losses are estimated to total more than $1 million, according to fellow victim Lau Cheng Yi. The 22-year-old, who runs a food and beverage business, lost about $55,000 in cash and three luxury watches valued at $72,000 in total.
"He promised returns of 2 to 10 per cent every month," said Mr Lau. "I did not get a single cent and he is now uncontactable."
Mr Lau said he met Mr Ang in March at a roti prata restaurant in Upper Bukit Timah. "He came in a Nissan GTR sports car and was wearing Louboutin shoes and a Rolex watch," Mr Lau said.
Attracted by the promise of "risk-free returns", Mr Lau handed over his Audemars Piguet Las Vegas watch worth more than $30,000 on the spot. A day later, Mr Ang opened an online account for Mr Lau at the Keystone Trading website with 20,000 credits to his name.
Over two more months, he progressively invested more money after being persuaded. By June, he had put in $127,000.
He sensed something was amiss that month when the website was down. He met Mr Ang at the void deck of his Bangkit Road Housing Board flat. He said Mr Ang claimed that his boss - "Sky" - had run away with the money and promised to look for him to return it.
Other victims said Mr Ang assured them the betting programme was legal as the bets were not placed in Singapore, but through Keystone Trading's offices located in Shenzhen, China, and the United States.
Mr Ang's mobile line was disconnected and he did not reply to messages to his phone.
When reporters visited his HDB flat in Bangkit Road, his father said he moved out last year and came home only occasionally.
Asked if his son was overseas, he said: "I will also avoid people if I were him. Why you ask so many questions?"
Police did not have figures for investment scams specifically. There were a total of 5,150 cheating cases from January to September this year, while the whole of last year saw 6,560 cases, up from 3,898 in 2014.
Mr Tan is now coping with his depression, but the episode has taught him not to be lured by promises of easy money. "I paid a price for learning this," he said.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2016, with the headline '20 say they lost $1m in investment scam'. Print Edition | Subscribe