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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Criminal lawyer
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 23988
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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I want to report a company Option FM for fraudulent trading.

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I want to report a company Option FM for fraudulent trading.
They are a binary stock trading company and I decided to invest a little to see how things went. The answer is not well.
My trader was Richard Austin who persuaded me to invest on a trade with the company Apple, assuring me of a large payout. I stupidly invested $2500 and had to put more money in my bank to do it.
Well there may have been a large payout but I didn't see it or receive any money from it.
Worse than that the company and Richard are saying I never made the trade.
I DID and he watched me do it. And my account at the time stood at $4800 after the trade I saw it reduce to $2300. He said whatever I traded he would match, so I can only assume that he took all the money.
There is no excuse for my stupidity but every time I ask about my trade with Apple I'm told there is no record of it.
The portfolio they presented me with was not mine and I proved it, so they sent me another which isn't mine either.
Neither of the accounts on those sheets add up correctly and the trades they show are a joke. According to my calculations instead of the $764 I have left in my account, I am over $6000 in deficit.
I keep asking to see my actual money account which opened with $4800 but they won't let me see it and I think it is because they don't want me to see what's gone on as it would prove me right.
I have been dealing with this through someone called Laura who insists I am wrong and my account is correct. But if they won't let me see that account how do I dispute it?
This company needs investigating and Richard Austin is obviously a thief and a liar.
Can you help please
May Park
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Fraud Examiner
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. Are you online at this time?

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 months ago.

We are quite aware here of Option FM. We have received many inquiries very similar to yours from people who lost all of their investment with that brokerage. They are not legitimate.

Here's what I have learned about them:

According to the WHOIS information for Option FM's website, this company was launched in 2014, which means it's relatively new.

The website's IP address traces to California. Since binary option trading is unlawful in the US except under very rare circumstances that do not apply here, that's a bad sign. The company claims to operate offshore from Belize for that reason.

No doubt you fell for an attractive claim of high investment returns that unregulated binary brokers put out to get people to sign on with them, but they are a completely unregulated binary broker.

unregulated binary brokers are all operating outside of the law and can essentially do what they please with your investment money.

Your country does not formally regulate binary brokers or binary option trading, though the reputable binary brokers will register anyhow with your Financial Conduct Authority or with some other recognized financial authority in another country such as Cysec. As for the ones that are unreulated, we hear horror stories of unauthorized tradings, wildly expensive fees to withdraw earnings that only lead to more fees, and credit card and other types of fraud, as well as outrageous misrepresentations. Then, when you go to look for the brokerage to exercise legal remedies, you frequently find that you don't even know where they are or that they don't respond any more to your emails and aren't anywhere at all. This means your chance of recovery can be very limited.

Does that mean there is no remedy for you? Not exactly. There is always a remedy. You would be able to sue the company for their fraudulent misrepresentation and for the return of your money. However, the difficulty will be in finding where they actually are to sue them, as they are not in England, not regulated by your government or anyone else's, and are entirely outside of the reach of your law.

If they are, in fact, in Belize, hiring a lawyer over there and bringing suit in their home country rather than mounting an international suit from the UK would probably be your best best.

If you don't know where they are, then finding them will be a job for law enforcement.

You need to report them to your Financial Conduct Authority. They cannot represent you, since the company is unregulated, but they may be able to direct you further and, in any case, they can put an alert on their site warning off others from investing. You also need to report them to ActionFraud.police.uk. If the authorities can find them and bring them to justice, you can sue them or have your "agent" prosecuted.

I'm sorry not to have better news for you. What they are doing is not a mistake. It is deliberate, and they are scammers. If you're going to spend any more money at all on them, do so by hiring a private investigator to find their actual location so that you can sue them.

Zoey, JD, Criminal lawyer
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 23988
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
Zoey, JD and 2 other Fraud Examiner Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Zoey
Okay thanks for that. You have confirmed what I suspected anyway.
Oh well another lesson learned. Shame it was so expensive.
Won't waste any more money. They're not worth it.
What I don't understand is why there isn't something the police can do to stop them advertising via google or some such.
I never curse anyone but I hope they all rot in hell.
May Park
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 months ago.

Hi May,

Sorry for the day. It's simply beautiful outside today and a holiday weekend to boot. So I played hookey from the computer for a bit.

There are laws against fraud and misrepresentation. Again the problem is in going after the people who perpetrate the illegalities. If they are out of the country, your police have no jurisdiction over them. They are literally out of the reach of UK law. This is why the most effective professional scammers always prey on people outside of their own country. It ties the hands of the victim's law enforcement and legal system and allows them to avoid apprehension.

It's really necessary to avoid things that sound too good to be true unless/until you do independent confirmation of the company you're dealing with. Just checking for scam reports isn't good enough because most professional scammers don't stick around all that long. They change their names and start again to stay one step ahead of the scam reports.

If you're going to be investing, you need a company registered with the FCA, which means it's lawfully trading in the UK. Registered binary brokers can be sleazy too, but at least if they are home-grown, you can do something about that.

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