At the request of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, Apple and Google have both removed over 300 binary trading apps from their respective online stores, Bloomberg reports.
The request from ASIC came on the heels of various cases of fraud involving unlicensed operators of such apps, which the Commission believes encourages people to make bets. Bets are usually made on the possibility of currencies rising or falling. Not all binary apps are unlicensed; which explains why not all binary trading ones have been removed by the two tech giants.
Some of the unlicensed apps according to Greg Yanco, head of market integrity at ASIC, “make outrageous claims.” Adding that “there is an issue globally with these products.”
While ASIC confirms in its statement that Apple had since removed the suspicious apps from its online store globally, the same cannot be said of Google. What is not clear about Google is if the tech giant only removed the apps within Australia or globally. It adds that consumers are unable to withdraw cash from their accounts or make winning trades 9 out of 10 from the said apps before losing their earnings as soon as they make move to exit the live product.
Here is a statement posted by the Commission on its website on Tuesday:
ASIC contacted Apple and Google about the apps that were the subject of this surveillance. We were encouraged with the speed both entities removed the relevant apps identified by ASIC from their respective app stores. We also note that Apple recently changed its review guidelines to state that apps that facilitate binary options trading will not be permitted in its app store.
ASIC would also like to remind investors that binary option providers are in control of the pricing for their product and, on reviewing some of the comments that appeared with the apps, it seemed that some investors made money in the demo mode but lost money once they moved to a live trading system.
The Commission’s head, Cathie Armour has a word of advice to all current and prospective users of binary trading apps:
“This is a timely reminder for investors to remain vigilant and not fall for flashy advertising or hard selling. 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.
“In an age where technology can hide who is offering and controlling a product, buyer beware has never been so important. If something appears too good to be true, it probably is.”
Of course, there are good binary trading apps out there, but it would be in the best interest of binary traders to be very cautious when choosing to download and use some of them.
Got something to add to this story? You can share it with us by using the comment box below.