Online Fraud: US Commodity Commission Targets Israeli Companies

At least 40 percent—and most likely many more—of the 110 companies listed by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) as dangerous fraudsters are based in Israel, meaning that the Jewish state has maintained its role as the world’s online fraud center.
Tel Aviv skyline: The world's online fraud capital.
According to a CFTC press release, another 71 companies have been added to its “Registration Deficient (RED) List” which is a compilation of “foreign entities that illegally solicit U.S. residents to trade binary options and forex.”
According to the Jerusalem-based Times of Israel, at least 15 of these new additions are “Israel-based companies,” but it is likely that “as many as 30 operate from Israel,” the paper said.
“Last June, when there were only 40 companies on the list, the Times of Israel reported that more than one-third of these were Israeli,” that report continued.
“Despite widespread media exposure in the last year, and calls from foreign governments to shut the industry down, most Israel-based fraudulent binary options and forex firms continue to operate with impunity,” the Times of Israel added.
However, it is likely that even more than just the 15 or 30 companies so identified as such are Israeli, because, as the Times of Israel went on to point out, “such companies go to considerable lengths to hide the true identities of their owners—often using nominee directors as fronts,” and it “is not an easy task to determine whether they operate from Israel.”
The binary options “industry” earns at least $10 billion a year from swindling online investors through rigging the trading platforms.
The Times of Israel last year revealed that a “large proportion of binary options fraud and some forex fraud as well emanates from call centers in Israel,” employs “thousands of Israelis,” and has been “operating for 10 years in Israel with little to no intervention on the part of Israeli law enforcement.”
“Fraudulent firms use a variety of ruses to trick clients all over the world, who believe they are making potentially lucrative short-term investments, into parting with their funds. Almost all customers lose all or almost all of their money,” the report added.
The publicity afforded to the swindle by the Times of Israel—which once described the scandal as “An Israeli scam that has to be stopped” because it was “giving Israel a bad name,” has caused the Israeli government to start considering acting against the “industry.”
As a result, the Times of Israel reported, “many Israeli binary options companies have been moving all or part of their operations to places like Bulgaria, Ukraine and Georgia” and Israeli job boards feature numerous ads asking Jews who work as binary options salespeople to be prepared to relocate abroad.
The Times of Israel added that “Israel banned all Israeli binary firms from targeting Israelis in spring 2016, and it is possible that Israeli media indifference to the fraudulent industry stems from the fact that it is foreigners, rather than Israelis, who are the principal victims of the Israeli scammers.”