According to a statement issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, more than 300 binary options trading apps were recently removed from the App Store and Google Play Store by Apple and Google respectively.
An Apple spokesperson announced that the company removed the apps across the world in line with the latest App Store Review Guidelines.
Apps that enable binary options trading are not allowed on the App Store, which means that users have to use web apps instead.
A brief search, however, revealed that there are still at least five apps on the App Store that seem to promote binary options trading. Since according to Apple’s own guidelines, these type of apps are no longer allowed on the App Store, this is probably merely due to an oversight on the company’s part, and the offending apps will in all likelihood not be there for much longer.
For readers who are not familiar with binary options trading, these apps try to entice users to place short-term bets on future price movements of trading instruments such as currencies or shares. Many of them were, however, not licensed – and they also neglected to mention the huge risks associated with this type of “trading.” Even worse, ASIC said that quite a few of them were simply collecting personal data.
Many of the apps that were monitored by ASIC and subsequently removed by Apple also contained misleading statements about the amount of profit that could be made with this kind of trading. To mention just one example, one of the apps claimed that users could make a profit in as little as 60 seconds.
ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour said: “In an age where technology can hide who is offering and controlling a product, buyer beware has never been so important. If something appears too good to be true, it probably is.”