Skip To Content
Fast Forward

FBI Warns Investors About Fraudulent, Lucrative Israeli Online Trading Business

The FBI is singling out a thriving business in Israel — two firms alone do $8 billion in business annually— that’s also ripe for fraud. Headlining the bureau’s website this week is an advisory against binary options trading, in which customers buy and sell shares of stocks — but many of the 100 companies operating in the space are fleecing customers, according to the FBI.

In its “Word of Warning to the Investing Public,” the FBI explains how fraudulent binary options operate:

  • Refusing to credit customers with profits, then cutting off all phone and email contact and sometimes freezing accounts
  • Falsely claiming the U.S. government requires copies of a customer’s credit card, passport, driver’s license or other documents, and using those in identity theft
  • Rigging software to result in customer losses.

The FBI notes it is working on several binary options fraud cases, and that it organized a fraud summit devoted to the issue in January in The Hague. Besides Israel, the industry is flourishing in China, Japan, Europe and the U.S.

According to The Times of Israel, Israeli authorities are considering shutting down the industry.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.