London: Apple and Google have removed hundreds of trading apps from their online stores after an intervention by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to crack down on online fraud, reported The Independent.
In a statement on Tuesday, ASIC said it had conducted a sweeping review of mobile app stores focusing on those associated with so-called binary options trading. It said that the review highlighted over 330 apps that were offered by entities and individuals that appeared to be unlicensed.
A total of 63 per cent of those examined were offered by so-called binary option issuers and facilitated trading.
Binary options platforms encourage investors to make apparently simple bets on whether shares or currencies will rise or fall in value over time.
Many such platforms are legitimate, but an increasing number have been popping up across Australia, the UK and elsewhere that are fraudulent.
All binary options trading platforms currently fall outside the control of financial regulators in the UK, meaning that people have little recourse to get their money back if they feel they have been scammed.
Last week, an investigation published by The Independent revealed that thousands of people, particularly pensioners, are likely being scammed every year.