OptionFM (Binary Online)… Deceitful highway men

Tryingtrader

Sergeant
Messages
181
First of all I would like to say how relieved I am to have found this site. I wish I had found it in my Google search before opening an account with these bandits. But that's history, on with my account of modern highway men.

On the 2 January 2017, I opened an account with OptionFM, having checked them out on Google (all positive) and deposited £250, I received a call from David Smith who introduced himself as a senior manager with OptionFM.

He advised me I would be allocated an account manager and that these were of various abilities and were graded as tier 1 ,2, 3 traders etc. tier 1 being the most competent, experienced and successful.

I was appointed to Adam Young as my account manager and during our telephone conversation he told me he was a Tier One trader who was very good and experienced. He has extensive knowledge of the markets and manages accounts with more than £20k deposited, a lesser amount than that and my account would be managed by a less experienced account manager from the tier 2 or 3 level, who were likely to make numerous bad trades. He urged me to increase my deposit so as to a) qualify for a Tier 1 manager and b) be eligible for bonuses.

However, for him to manage my account I had to agree to a condition not to trade on my own without his guidance and only to trade following his explicit instructions. Using his risk management, losses would be minimised to a small percentage of the capital in the account. Capital would thus be protected and losses kept to a minimum. I agreed that this was a sound way of trading and that I would only trade with his instructions.

I increased the funding of my account by an additional £18000 using a Mastercard Credit card and a Visa Debit card, Declaration of Deposit forms (stating the sum involved and acknowledging the risk involved in trading binary options) were emailed to me for each deposit which I signed and emailed back. My account then had mysterious bonuses added to it. £55.00 was then wired back to my account to 'Prove the link', or something similar. Then we started trading.

Trading during the first 4 days went well with a few losses and some impressive wins, culminating on Friday 6 January 2017 with a good win on EUR/USD due to the US Non Farm Payroll monthly announcement. Further trading on Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 January also had successes. My account now stood at £36876.05 including bonuses.

However, on Wednesday 11 January a notice was displayed on my OptionFM account page which read

Dear Option.FM ClientDear Option.FM Client,

We’d like to inform you that Option.FM will be minimizing its operations in your region due to regulatory constraints.

If you have eligible balance in your account, you may continue trading by clicking here.

If you’d like to withdraw your eligible funds, you are kindly requested to file a withdrawal request through your account and we will refund you the full amount of your net balance. You can withdraw funds by clicking here.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at earliest convenience.

Sincerely, Option.FM Management

Withdrawal Continue Trading

Querying this with my account manager, Adam, by email and on live chat on the trading platform, he advised me to withdraw the total account funds back to my bank and he would contact me on Monday 16 January. This I did, but by Monday 16 January no funds had been received and the request for funds transfer at OptionFM still had a pending status. I conversed with Adam my account manager using the Live Chat facility and advised him no funds had transferred and still had a pending status. He advised he would raise it with his accounts department and we should continue trading.

He then asked if I had traded Sixty Seconds options before and I said I hadn’t. He then instructed me to go to the Trading Platform, select Currencies EUR/USD, 08:50 expiry and type in $4000 in the amount box select Call and take the trade. He then said select the Sixty Seconds option, select EUR/USD, type in £1500 in the amount box select Call and take the trade. He then said keep taking more Call trades at that price until he tells me to change to Put. I used Live chat to say the account was running low and Adam said it’s all right as I still had positions open. The first 10 Call trades lost the next 8 Call trades won, the next 15 Call trades lost. I was then told to change the position at the same price from Call to Put, and of the next 7 trades only 2 won. He then said change back to Currencies, select EUR/USD and the 09:10 expiry, enter an amount of £7000 on a Put and take the trade. This trade also lost.

This whole trading period lasted only 16 minutes and my account went from £36876 to £1666. Using Live Chat, I asked Adam ‘what on earth was he doing?’ and then ‘was this his idea of sound money management?’. I received no further communication from him for the rest of the day …. Just silence. (And silence since) I was shocked! Under his instruction my account had been decimated in 16 minutes. The action so fast that as a novice I had no chance to follow the progress (success or failure) of the trades and had put all my trust in the experience of my account manager Adam. I have not been able to get any response from him since.

At 03:20 the following morning I received a call from family informing me my Father was dying and would probably pass very soon. I travelled up to Scotland to be with him and the family first thing the following morning, he died on the Saturday. During the following 2 weeks, sorting out his estate, I have had time to consider the events with Adam and OptionFM.

In hind sight it would seem that Adam set out to deliberately empty my account. My inexperience of trading and my misplaced trust, in believing Adam would follow the sound risk limitation and capital conservation policies we had agreed to when I opened the account, proved to be fatal. OptionFM were indeed a deceitful and elaborate scam operation. Since my return this weekend (two weeks away) nothing has been heard from Adam. I have since requested a withdrawal of the remaining account balance but the request remains as ‘Pending’.

I believe OptionFM did not fulfil their promise of prudent money management and deliberately made bad trade choices in order to empty my account. Can I make a chargeback on my cards, both with NatWest Bank UK, as the service I thought I was buying was not provided? This is all most distressing as I now have debts to service from a small income. Has anybody got any helpful ideas how I might recover from this?

I am devastated at the suddenness of loss of capital and angry as hell with myself for being sucked in to this, now, obvious deceitful criminal setup. Writing all these events down though has had a therapeutic effect and I’m less stressed but still mad as hell at the devious ‘highway men’ at OptionFM.

I have just had an email from this broker, but it's from a company called Binary Online, advising their web platform has been updated and improved. I presume that Binary Online must be a parent company of OptionFM.

I attach copies of the deposited funds and the trades made in the hope they will help.
 

Attachments

  • 1 OptionFM account funding.pdf
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  • 2 OptionFM trading history.pdf
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Pharaoh

Colonel
Messages
19,924
Option.fm is part of Banc de Binary. There's a class action lawsuit against BDB running via Giambrone Law.

How and when did you deposit? If by credit card, try a chargeback with your bank. If the bank is not cooperative, or if you used bank wire, WinChargeback may be able to help you.
 

Tryingtrader

Sergeant
Messages
181
Thanks for the reply and info about Banc de Binary. Would Giambrone Law like to use my experience with OFM in their case?
I deposited on the 2 January 2017 using my Credit card and my Debit card. I will try a chargeback citing agreed service not received.
 

Pharaoh

Colonel
Messages
19,924
You'll need to contact Giambone Law directly to ask them about taking your case.
 

Tryingtrader

Sergeant
Messages
181
Many thanks. I have lodged a chargeback claim with the credit card company citing goods and service not received and they have tagged the card transactions as disputed for 30 days and will investigate my case using all the information I have supplied them. This means I do not have to pay interest on these amounts nor settle the account for at least 30 days. They also advised I lodge a complaint with actionfraud.police.uk who will take the details and inform the appropriate Police division, give me a Crime Reference Number, and advise any Financial Securities bodies who need to know about these fraudsters.
My request to withdraw the remaining funds in my OFM account has been approved but as yet no money has arrived.
 

Tryingtrader

Sergeant
Messages
181
Actionfraud.police.uk advise that Options trading fraud should be filed under fraud type 'I can’t see the fraud type in the options above, please show me the full range of options I can report to Action Fraud ', and then select 'Fraud to do with a financial investment, e.g. purchasing stocks or shares, a mortgage or an investment scheme' and on the next page then select 'The victim invested in something not covered above ' and proceed to fill each page. When you come to the bit where you have to describe what happened in words, you are restricted to a total of 2000 characters including spaces, so it would be best to type this up in a WP app first and do a word / character count to make sure you'r not over the count. they are very strict, max 2000. Hope this helps.
 

Skiddaw

Recruit
Messages
26
Sadly your case is typical of the behaviour experienced by many of my acquaintance at the hands of OFM and Banc de Binary.
Giambrone's action is not the only game in town; at least one other exists with a different cost structure compared to his group. We are probably also closer to getting into court against these feckers but we still have room for more scammed victims to join us. Currently we are 35 strong and represent millions of Euros in combined losses. We are very serious - but until we get into court, secretive too.

Would you be interested to join us? Let me know an email or Skype contact for you.(That would be true of anyone else who has been scammed by OFM or Banc de Binary and is reading this post.)

By the way, nothing except your wallet says you cannot be in more than one claim simultaneously; you won't get paid back twice (wouldn't that be nice?), but these actions are not necessarily exclusive of each other. We're not "in competition" with Giambrone. We're well on the way already and what we want now is as many victims to come forward as possible. To us, to him or to anyone else who is out there putting together a case.

Meanwhile, certainly lodge a report at ActionFraud.police.uk. Our experience of chargebacks is that they do not work because they get contested by the broker company - the card company then says you got access to a trading platform and that's what was promised, so you "got what you paid for" - sadly, they haven't tended to look deeper into the fraudulent practices going on beneath the surface. Having said that, following the tragedy in Canada at Christmas (suicide of a scammed individual), we detect a change of response from chargebacks and they now seem to be willing to really look at what's going on. But one effect of the chargeback will be to delay OFM's dissolution plans pending "resolution" of the chargeback.

Yes, OFM is trying to shut down, as is Banc de Binary. Why? Because they're running scared that the world is turning against them. Read the Times of Israel who have been railing against the whole Binaries industry (it's all based in Tel Aviv) since last April and their efforts have woken up the Israeli government, EUROPOL, FBI, and various other police forces. That desire to liquidate and "run for the hills" accounts for the experience you suffered. And yes, they have robbed you blind. Fortunately, we've stopped their little game - our claim is lodged with regulators, company registrars, securities agencies and with the companies themselves, and now they cannot liquidate whilst there are these large outstanding claims. Your chargeback will just add to their grief.
 

Tryingtrader

Sergeant
Messages
181
Many thanks Skiddaw for your reply and empathy. Very glad to hear another group is chasing these bandits. Yes I would be interested in joining your action group provided the costs £ are not too great as OFM have cleaned me out and left me with large debts to service. Drop me a quick email at ibmc@globalnet.co.uk and I'll see if I can find the bucks. I have also sent CS@Option.fm an email expressing my disgust at the actions of their Account Manager and requested a full reimbursement of my capital due to reckless, deliberate and wilful trading action by their employee. Nothing heard back yet.
 

Skiddaw

Recruit
Messages
26
You're welcome!

I've sent you an email with the title "Skiddaw: OFM-BDB Fraud pursuit".

I don't suppose they will do you the courtesy of a reply, and, even if they do, they might only make you an offer of a derisorily small fraction of your losses contingent on your signing a rather poisonous waiver document in which you sign away your fundamental rights of redress.
 

Tryingtrader

Sergeant
Messages
181
I have had a reply from Customer Services shift manager at OFM. It is very curt and doesn't address any of the complaints I made nor explain the actions of their Account Manager. It reads:
#
I'm sorry to hear about your complaints but please keep in mind that, as stated in our terms and conditions, the client is responsible for the trading on his/her account.

You were not obliged or forced to trade after you had placed the withdrawal but it was your decision to do so.

In case you have further questions you can contact us again.

#
These people really are from the dregs of humanity. I have replied, setting out my complaint again and requesting these complaints are responded to by a senior manager not a shift manager. Lets see where this takes me.

Also still no sign of the money transfer of my remaining account balance they approved to send (11 days ago now and counting), but my account now shows a £0 balance. I know they can transfer quickly as they sent £55 in 24 hours, when I opened the account, to verify my banking details.
 
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