ALERT 1 of 2021 – Foreign Exchange (FOREX) Trading or Brokerage or Binary Options Trading
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Financial Services Authority (FSA) hereby issues the following warning:
The FSA does not issue any licenses to carry on the business of FOREX Trading or Brokerage or Binary Options Trading nor does the FSA “Regulate, Monitor, Supervise or License” International Business Companies (IBCs) which engage in such activities.
IBCs incorporated in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are authorized to engage in any business activity without approval from the FSA, except where the proposed business activity relates to banking, insurance or mutual fund businesses. Banking, insurance and mutual fund businesses are licensed activities. FOREX or Brokers Trading licenses are not issued by any authority in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Forex Trading or Brokerage is the activity of trading in currencies. It involves a person purchasing a certain quantity of one currency by paying in a quantity of another currency. The trader is basically speculating on the future rate of a particular currency. Forex Trading can be done from anywhere in the world with only an Internet connection required.
The FSA advises the public to beware of FOREX currency trading frauds, where an entity may promise to offer high yield, low risk investment opportunities from investments in foreign currency contracts. These deals may be scams and although they may look like a new sophisticated form of investment opportunity, they may be a form of financial fraud which targets retail customers. Forex scams are normally attractive and sophisticated sounding and may be advertised via newspapers, radio promotions, or the Internet. In most cases, potential clients are told that they will obtain tens of thousands of dollars in as little as a few weeks or months with small sums.
Members of the public are asked to note the following warning signs of a Forex scam:
- Promises that sound too good to be true;
- Claims that most customers make money;
- Unsolicited phone calls offering investments especially from unfamiliar sounding company names;
- Phony success stories from fictional customers;
- Be especially cautious if you have acquired a large sum of cash and have been looking for an investment vehicle;
- High pressure efforts to convince you to send or transfer cash immediately to the firm whether via the Internet or over-night delivery;
- Promises of minimal risks: currency futures and options markets are in fact very volatile and carry substantial risks;
- Promises of a fixed return, or promises of a maximum amount that you can lose;
- Promises to recover any loss you may suffer; and
- Difficulty in getting background information.
The public is advised not to invest what one cannot afford to lose and to ensure that you understand all the procedures and risks and to investigate to ensure that the person offering the forex investment is properly licensed and has a reputable business history.
The FSA warns that these companies must disclose information on the risks involved and the pertinent details of the client agreement particularly on the possibilities of loss to the client.
If an entity is unlicensed and unregulated, you will be using its services at your own risk. Unregulated FOREX Trading or Brokerage and Binary Options entities may not be subject to any code of practice or other regulatory law that expressly prohibits the business from making statements that are misleading, false or deceptive. Neither are their owners, directors and managers subject to the “fit and proper” test applied by the FSA to regulated entities.
If you believe that you have been victimized by a Forex Trading or Binary Options Trading entity, it is advised that you contact the financial crime authorities in your jurisdiction.