- The US National Futures Association


Brigadier General
The NFA (National Futures Association)

The NFA is a CFTC-authorized SRO for derivatives trading in the US. In simpler terms, it's a government-authorized self-regulatory organization that actively works with the CFTC (a government regulator) for trading of derivatives. Derivatives include options and contracts for commodities (wheat, gold, oil, butter, etc., etc.) currencies (forex), cryptocurrencies, and more. Even those highly questionable binary options trades are under the NFA if they are in the USA. Massively oversimplified - if it's online trading and it's not stock shares traded on an exchange, the NFA probably wants to know. Note that a lot of forex brokers offer stock CFDs instead of stock shares. A CFD is a Contract for Difference, which means it's a derivative under the NFA, unlike direct trading of stocks on the NYSE or other exchanges.

For any company claiming trading or account management or investments funds in forex, binaries, precious metals, cryptos, or commodities (oil, corn, copper, etc.) and doing business in the US, NFA regulation is legally required in nearly all cases.

The NFA does allow exceptions for small investment pools or people advising limited numbers of clients. Even then, many of these will at least require registration.

If the trading falls under the NFA, my advice is to complain about the issue whether or not there's any connection to the US (you or the company). The same offshore scammer that got you is probably also going after US citizens and the evidence you provide will be useful when that happens.

The first step is to check and see if the company is registered/regulated on the NFA's website. To check this, got to:



The NFA ID is the easiest to search by, but you can check company names and individual names too.

If a person or company is registered, watch out for the words "Not an NFA Member." and "Non-Member not subject to NFA oversight." These can apply to expired regulation and regulatory exceptions like small commodity investment pools. The problem is that a large number of offshore scams are using these non-regulated registrations for brokers, which are not exempt. Report any company you see offering broker service under an unregulated registration to the NFA.

If it is a valid license for regulation, hopefully it really belongs to the company you have a problem with. Registered or not, regulated or not, NFA complaints can be filed from here:

NFA File a Complaint or Report Suspicious Business Practices

Before beginning. If you leave the page or close the browser window before fully submitting the complaint, all your work will be lost. All items with a red asterisk (*) must be filled in.

I'm pleased to note that the NFA complaint form is one of the simplest ones out there.

Scroll down and find where it says DESCRIBE YOUR COMPLAINT.


Notice that each item for Question 1 has an "i" in a circle. If you click the "i" you can get more details. For example, ff you click the one by Virtual Currencies, you'll see that this includes cryptocurrencies. Click the "i" a second time to make the extra information go away.

# 2 and 3 are for info on the company and people you are having a problem with. There's a +Add an Individual button which will let you add more people as needed.

#4 is where it gets interesting.


The line about Unregistered Firm or Individual should be one of the places you check if the company or person can't be found in NFA Basic. Check all the boxes that apply and describe the situation in the space provided for item #5.

Make sure to fill in the amount for #6. If the person/company is really NFA regulated, you can also file with the NFA's Arbitration Program. If not, your hope of recovery is the NFA and other agencies working together to get a court judgment to recover improperly taken funds.

I've zoomed out and clicked all the "i" buttons on #7.


If you opened the account and entered all the trades, it's Self-Directed (Non-Discretionary), even if someone told you what trades to open. You can still complain about the bad advice given.

If someone was authorized to place trades in your personal account (in my opinion, if you willingly gave them access to your desktop to place trades, that seems very much like authorization), that would be a Managed (Discretionary).

If it's not an account just for you, but is some sort of investment pool where profits (if any) are supposed to be distributed to pool members, that's a Pooled Investment Vehicle (Commodity Pool). Two of the biggest types of managed scams use a pooled model. Those are Ponzi Schemes and HYIPs. There are many other forms of scam involving managed accounts, but those two are the most famous.

Next, fill in #8 to let them know where else you have complained.

Finally, either go anonymous or fill in your name and contact info. I strongly recommend telling them how to get in touch. Sometimes, all they need is one more piece of information to take action. They can't get the info from you if they can't contact you.

Make sure to submit your complaint before closing the page.

An alternative way to complain is to fill out a paper copy of the form and then either fax it or mail it. The fax number and address are on the last page of the PDF you can find here: