Fraud never sleeps. Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to fleece traders off their hard earned money. At any given time, reports of Forex fraud always dominate the headlines across the globe. The occurrence of Forex fraud is now not restricted to the confines of the main cities such as New York and London but steady becoming an international menace; a reflection that this industry is global with fraudsters that are quite capable of international intrigue in different jurisdictions on the globe. Forex fraud investment schemes were the hallmark of January 2017, from Dubai to Egypt and even to the Philippines, with scammers now using inventive methods to con unsuspecting traders. The internet and development in technology have sadly become the modern tools of this scam trade with fraudsters making use of clones and random email links to dupe investors into investing with them. Below are the top three trading scams that grabbed the headlines in January 2017.
The Steven Hawking Trading Software Algorithm Scam
A scam that could quickly scoop the monthly award (if there was ever one) for innovation in the world of crime is one that purportedly featured Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist, and cosmologist. The conmen developed a phony video in which Hawking claims that he has developed a revolutionary trading software algorithm that he will be giving for free to the whole world so that ‘everyone can become rich.’ Many unsuspecting traders took this bait, hook, line and sinker without the slightest hesitation.
This scheme starts off firstly with a businessman visiting the “Hawkingcode.com” link provided at the end of the video. A transfer takes the client to a trading platform that instructs them to deposit $250 or more. In reality, the “Hawking Code” platform is operated by a firm known as “Option.fm” with its headquarters in the Grenadines and Saint Vincent and is not covered by regulators. According to the Sunday Times, Helen Travis deposited a £640,000 inheritance that she had gotten from her father on the site and lost it all in one night after falling for this well-orchestrated scam.
The Australian Email Wolf in Regulatory Clothing
Imitation is then the name of the game, and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) was undoubtedly caught off-guard by this one. The ASICs customers were receiving emails containing attachments or links that led to fake invoices. For a keen recipient, the instruction provided requiring them to click the relationship to make their payment or download an invoice is a red flag that mostly points to a phishing scam in the making. These cyber-cons would employ this ruse to install malware that allows them to poach the personal identification information of their victims. Such scams appear during critical times of the year, such as holidays, when it is easy for a trader to overlook a suspicious item without taking the time to verify it.
The EJS Capital Management Scam Involving A.V Ekdeshman and E.J Servider in New York
The internet has been experiencing an upsurge in sites that fraudulently advertise commodity, foreign exchange and trading advisory services to clients. Regulators are now concerned that the general public has not yet fully understood this ploy and that the integrity of the market at stake. Alex Vladamir Ekdeshman and Edward J. Servider of EJS Capital Management pleaded guilty to bilking over $2 million from about 112 investors to enrich themselves. They were able to run this trading scam by convincing investors that the money deposited would be used foreign currency trading and even issued fake account statements to their clients. The defendants instead siphoned the funds and spent it to support their lavish lifestyle.
In the Foreign Exchange Market, there is no doubt that fraudsters have gone global by making use of improved technology and their internet to make their modern day schemes as convincing as possible. The statistics of the demography of trade scam victims is increasing by leaps and bound across borders. Other traders should thus use stories of victims as a lesson on vigilance in the market as the criminal element of the world’s society is now quite proficient at deception. Always remain skeptical and remember that you are the first line of defense in fraud prevention.
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