“Say, Grandpa, why is Grandma crying all the time? You have found the guy who stole your money?” A young retired person who is proud of his four grandchildren, Yannick D. could not imagine living such a scene three years ago. A 62 years, in early 2015, the old farmer became the logistics technician and union representative receives a call from a certain James Lanvin, who claims to have met at meetings, and it boasts of opportunities of quick wins with the options of financial products which he did not know everything.

Yannick was persuaded to invest his savings on a trading account with the site StrongOptions.com managed by the company Financial advice and services, including mail, signed in London, indicate that it is a leader in financial consulting. Guided by James Lavin, who constantly calls on the phone, Yannick embarks on the trading, and it works! He made a lot of good shots, his advisor urges him to invest more. All the economies of the couple pass by, 200000 euros who go to accounts in Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, the Philippines or Australia.

film Sets, aliases… The scam perfect

The business of StrongOptions are so good that his advisor persuades Yannick to play on credit. “He said that to go faster, it is necessary to make consumer loans, he called with my id card and took care of everything,” says the trade union leader, who has taken out nine loans for a total of 400000 euros, the parties in StrongOptions.

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The trouble begins when he wants to withdraw a portion of its € 4 million of gains. In July 2015, a letter of Financial advice he said that he was well 4787802,62 euros on his account, but in an offshore company with an account at Credit suisse in Geneva. “By the franco-swiss and in order to avoid money laundering”, he writes, Yannick only has to pay “a deposit of the order of 180000 euros” in order to dispose of his money at Credit suisse.

When the retiree’s threat to file a complaint, his “advisor” to him laughing on the nose. He went to London, but find nothing at the address. Everything is fake, except the money that he has stolen. “I have nothing, I sold all my belongings and bailiffs are asking 12000 euro every month,” says Yannick. Neither James Lanvin, neither the company Financial advice, nor is the site StrongOptions have never existed. These are film sets, and aliases, to give the victim an illusion of seriousness in order better to pluck them.

the 2.5 million French victims of investments bogus

In 2015, the financial markets Authority had received 1656 claims of savers being fleeced by this kind of trading “forex”, while the platform telephone Insurance bank savings info service had received nearly 6,000 requests for information or reports on these scams at trading, or 41% of the calls.

A survey by the CSA institute for the AMF has indicated that more than 4 out of 10 French had already heard about the offerings of Internet-based trading to speculate on markets like the Forex (foreign exchange, or currency market) or the binary options, that more than 1 in 5 (22 %) had been approached by these scammers, and 6% of investors had given money.

2.5 million French have already been victims of scams relating to investments that are bogus.


In total, there are 2.5 million French people who would have already been scammed with investments bogus on the Internet, whether it is forex trading, property investments miscellaneous (letters and manuscripts, Aristophil, wine, gold, art, etc) or other projects wacky (crowdfunding, SMES, renewable energies, etc).

“That is for the scams in the trading, diamonds or rare earths, these scams make a lot of victims and affect the general interest. There is a real need for quality information”, argued mr. Nicolas Lecoq-Vallon, lawyer, retail investor, at a trial on this matter at the tribunal de grande instance of Paris, 12 December 2017.

deregulation has opened up the boulevards for scams

Since the year 2010, the deregulation of financial markets, payment services, and telecommunications, combined with the technological progress in the areas of anonymity and money laundering, has opened up the boulevards to real industry of the scam.

To give a veneer of respectability, the scammers of the trading get an approval from the stock market regulator in cyprus, CySEC, which allows them to attack the French market thanks to the european passport for free provision of services. Among the claims of the victims of the trading, “85% of applications for mediation to be admissible have involved companies approved by the regulator of Cyprus”, confirmed Marielle Cohen-Branche, mediator of the AMF in 2016.

The efforts of each country seem helpless to stem the tide. In France, the Sapin law 2 of 9 December 2016 has created the article L222 – 16-1 of the Code of the consumption, prohibiting all advertising on the Internet or by e-mail for this type of financial products. Not enough to discourage the crooks.

ads for scams abound on the Internet

In 2017 and 2018, the trading venues continue to broadcast advertisements to be illegal, with the complicity of social media, which they are very large buyers of advertising space. These same sites also continue to conduct campaigns to cold calling aggressive from savers French, like Trade24, UFXtrading or Alvexo, caught in the act in recent months, among others.

the imagination of The crook is without limit. For the past two years, the scam booklets bogus promising 8% return by investing in diamonds has spread on the Internet. But the star of 2017 is especially the bitcoin.

beyond the debate on the bubble around the chip virtual, anonymous sites scam the bitcoin have pushed on the Canvas, such as fungi -poisonous – in the fall. The grand finale took place at Christmas, when the starlet of the reality show was launched in a questionable deal the currency encrypted, as prior to it icons-sandwiches of football have been able to boast about the scams at Forex trading, dedicated to fleecing the fans.

“France is the country most affected, even if these scams are spreading in other countries”, explained François Mollins, the chief prosecutor of the Republic to the tribunal de grande instance of Paris, at a conference in 2016, while admitting its difficulty to control and the low expectation for investors in a wrong review the money evaporated in tax havens.

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“The best weapon is awareness, concluded the prosecutor. We must appeal to the good sense of the public so that he does not trust his money to the blind.” Read reliable information about the investments is therefore a vital issue for the sustainability of your savings.


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