CFTC Targets Corona-Related FX and Binary Options Scam

CFTC Targets Corona-Related FX and Binary Options Scam

September 28, 2020

A Georgia resident man who was ordered by a state regulator to ‘case and desist’ earlier this year is in hot water with the CFTC on charges that he defrauded people by soliciting investments in a phony FX and binary options trading scheme.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said Kenzley Ramos pooled money from investors with the promise that it would be invested in currency markets and “profit off the coronavirus with forex.” He set up and ran his fraudulent trading business from June 2015 up until now.

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The watchdog said Ramos solicited investments ranging from $200 to $2,000 from its scam victims to trade forex and binary options by promising spectacular returns and personal guarantees.

He touted himself as an accomplished trader that uses a proven strategy that ensures in “no possible way investors can lose money,” while not disclosing the long list of inherent risks in forex and binary option trading.

Covid-19 created a perfect storm for investment fraudsters

Ramos, who also used two aliases – Anthony David “Tony” Mckinney and Anthony Green – to mislead investors, guaranteed high-double-digit returns, up to 300 percent per week. He also stipulated that a 15% fee would be deducted from the balance whenever investors withdraw their funds.

Instead of investing their money, however, he used investors’ funds in his own personal expenses.

Ramos preyed on concerns surrounding the pandemic, telling his victims that the “stock market is crumbling,” according to his most recent craigslist ad claims that targeted residents in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.

In a parallel criminal action, a federal grand jury indicted Ramos on one count of commodities fraud, and he already made his initial appearance in federal court on Friday afternoon.

The US regulators have recently warned Americans about criminals trying to steal their funds using several scams tied to the coronavirus pandemic. They also warned of the substantial potential for fraud at this time, saying that crooks often try to capitalize on high-profile news events to lure investors into financial cons.

The CFTC also identified fraudsters urging people to invest in new stocks related to the disease as among the most prevalent scams attempting to take advantage of the coronavirus outbreak.

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