I’ve been observing the growing cancer of binary options scam since it first slithered up from the darkest pits of financial crime. I’ve worked long and hard to do what I can to warn traders away from binary options and to help binary victims fight back. Unfortunately explaining facts like how badly the odds are stacked against anyone who “trades” binaries and how many complaints their are against binary companies doesn’t pierce the mental defenses of many people who desperately want to believe in easy money.
What was needed was someone who could get at the story closer to the source, someone who could tell it from many angles, someone who could turn the facts into deeply compelling stories. Even better would be someone who could bring all of the information about binary scams to the attention of potential victims, but also of the regulators in Israel and around the world.
One year ago today, a bright beacon of light appeared on the scene. An investigative reporter from the Times of Israel, Simona Weinglass, shook the entire binary industry with her article, The Wolves of Tel Aviv: Israel’s vast, amoral binary options scam exposed.
If I had to sum up the article in one word, it would be magnificent. The article laid out the core details of how binary scams work. It confirmed nearly everything I knew or suspected about binary brokers. It also added many more important details about how binary options companies operate with the target of stealing as much money from clients as possible.
That one article alone would have been enough to earn Simona a place as one of my personal heroes. The great news is that Simona didn’t settle for one article.
From her Wolves of Tel Aviv article (1 year ago today) to her most recent one about the FBI adding a warning about binaries to its homepage (last week), Simona has authored or co-authored over 40 articles about binary options fraud, binary victims, and attempts to regulate or outlaw binaries. Her work has been critical to pushing the authorities in Israel and other countries into moving from investigation to decisive action.
Some of her coworkers have joined in writing their own pieces, including Iacopo Luzi bravely going undercover as a binary options salesman and Times of Israel’s founding editor David Horovitz’s excellent editorial on preventing the derailing of a ban on binaries as well as a number of other articles on the subject, both solo and with Simona. Many others contributed and deserve thanks and praise, but I’m trying to keep this article within reasonable length. If no one else grabbed the rights already, I’d love to do the book on Times of Israel vs Binary Options so I can make sure everyone there gets full credit for ridding Israel (and hopefully the world) of binary scams.
For those who can’t wait for the book, you can see the current list of all binary options articles by Simona and everyone else at the Times of Israel by clicking here.
I’ve read through all of Simona’s articles. Each one alone is an excellent piece of work, but together, they lay out all the reasons why binary options needs to be ended as soon as possible. Other than Wolves of Tel Aviv, it’s hard to pick out a favorite, but I must say I did appreciate seeing the mention of the FPA in her article about how some binary victims got their money back.
On the darker side, Simona’s article titled What kind of person would rob an old woman? is one of the most frightening pieces of non-fiction I’ve read. It details the aberrant mentality behind those who work on the front lines of of the binary options scams. I’ve seen transcripts of these people in action, but always hoped they didn’t really understand the consequences of their actions. Instead, the complete sociopathic lack of concern for the damage to people’s lives is so extreme that it shakes even my highly skeptical faith in humanity. Reading that article is hard. Writing it was undoubtedly harder.
Currently, Israel stands poised on the edge of shutting down all binary options companies in the country. Simona deserves a very large percent of the credit. I’m sad that they don’t give Nobel Prizes for exposing and shutting down scams. If they did, Simona would be getting one.
The work isn’t done yet. Many binary companies are shifting their operations to eastern Europe. I’m addicted both to hunting scammers and to writing. I can recognize the symptoms of these addictions in others. I’m confident Simona won’t stop writing about binary scams until she’s caught all the wolves.
One final note. I didn’t give Simona any warning about this article. I sincerely hope she’s not embarrassed by my very public display of admiration for her work. She’s an inspiration to me and to everyone else who’s ever fought against any type of financial scam, and I firmly believe she deserves to be recognized.