Complaints and Guidance

March 10, 2016

Manitoba resident loses thousands investing in unregistered firm

Winnipeg - The Manitoba Securities Commission (MSC) is cautioning investors about, a trading website operated by Up and Down Marketing Ltd., purportedly located in the country of Malta.  Investors should be aware that and Up and Down Marketing Ltd. are not registered to sell securities in Manitoba and that their actions are not in compliance with provincial securities laws. There are currently no Binary Option firms registered to do business in Manitoba.

“We were recently advised that at least one Manitoba resident has responded to an online advertisement encouraging him to invest in binary options via an online trading platform,” said Jason Roy, Senior Investigator with the Commission. “This investor invested approximately $100,000 and used a credit card to fund a portion of his account.  It is unlikely that he will be able to get his money back. In addition, he may be subject to the higher interest rates charged by his credit card company,” said Roy.  

Binary options are a sort of “wager” where investors bet on the performance of an underlying asset, often a currency, stock index or share, usually in a short period of time. When that period is up, the investor receives a predetermined payout or loses his wager. It’s an “all or nothing” proposition. With some of these offshore investments, no actual trading takes place and it is just a tactic used to steal an investor’s money.  A request to send your money offshore to an unregistered firm is a red flag for investment fraud.

The MSC advises all investors to keep the following tips in mind to prevent becoming a victim of investment fraud:

  • Never send money to anyone you only know from an unsolicited phone call or email
  • Never give out sensitive personal information online or over the phone
  • Research an investment before making a commitment
  • Make sure the firm and individual you are dealing with are registered in Manitoba by checking their registration status at  

Investors who believe that they have been approached by an unregistered individual or firm are encouraged to contact the MSC immediately at 1-855-FRAUD-MB to file a complaint or speak with an investigator.

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Media Inquiries:

Ainsley Cunningham
Manager, Education and Communications