CSA task force aims to protect Canadians against binary options fraud

By Natasha Tremblay | March 03 2017 11:30AM

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) has formed a task force to help protect Canadians against binary options scams. An increasing number of Canadians are falling victim to these ‘get rich quick’ schemes, said the CSA in an announcement March 2.

 “In response to this escalating problem, we formed a Binary Options Task Force to raise awareness and protect Canadians from binary options scams and launched a new resource site,, as part of a campaign to educate Canadians about such scams,” said Louis Morisset, Chair of CSA and President and CEO of Quebec regulator, the Autorité des marchés financiers.

A leading type of investment fraud

Binary options fraud is a leading type of investment fraud facing Canadians today,” says Jason Roy, Chair of the CSA Binary Options Task Force and senior investigator with the Manitoba Securities Commission. “We want Canadians to know that there are no registered individuals or firms permitted to trade these products in Canada. We are seeing families of every demographic being affected by financial losses due to binary options trading. We want Canadians to understand the financial dangers associated with these products.”

Rigged to lure victims with early returns

Binary options consist of investors betting on the performance of an underlying asset, often with a short time frame, and once the investment is up, the investor collects earnings or loses everything depending on the outcome. In a recent example we reported last month, some binary options scams have been using Kevin O’Leary’s name and image without his permission.

The CSA warns that the “overwhelming majority” of binary option sites are rigged to lure victims with early returns. Often no actual trading occurs and the only purpose of the interaction is to steal money, “Once a victim has lost their money, it is almost impossible to recuperate their losses,” explains the CSA.

For more information, or to report suspected or confirmed fraudulent activity, visit