A Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) investor protection task force is in dialogue with Google as it calls on the technology giant to ban ads for binary options, cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings used to solicit potential fraud victims.
The Binary Options Task Force was launched last year to raise awareness of the scheme in which investors bet on the performance of an underlying asset — such as a commodity or stock index — after which they are due to receive either a payout or lose the amount.
However, often actual trading does not occur and investors do not get their investment back, prompting the umbrella organization for Canada’s provincial and territorial securities’ regulators to ban short-term binary options in September 2017.
The chairman of the task force says it has been urging various social media companies since last March to remove ads for binary options, but has widened its scope to include virtual currencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Jason Roy, who is also a senior investigator at the Manitoba Securities Commission, said since Canada’s binary options ban, fraudsters have increasingly relied on cryptocurrencies and ICOs as a guise.
Facebook last month introduced a new policy which prohibits ads for binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies, and Roy says he is optimistic that Google will follow suit.