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Scams and fraud

We want to make sure that you are able to spot and stay safe against scams and fraud. You should be aware of the following scams and frauds which you could encounter.

Binary options

Binary options are a type of bet where you try and predict the outcome of events in financial markets, such as the rise and fall of stocks.

From 3 January 2018 any UK firms that offer binary options have to be authorised and supervised by the Financial Conduct Agency (FCA) (opens in new tab). If you have doubts about whether a gambling business is authorised do not use them. It is likely that they are acting illegally.

Unauthorised gambling businesses are likely to use false names, addresses and contact numbers.

Eligible customers will have access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (opens in new tab). These protections cannot compensate you for any losses. You should be careful and consider whether the products are right for you.

Online scratchcards

Some money-making schemes will ask for a monthly fee in return for digital scratchcards. Customers may also be told that they will receive scratchcards if they encourage more people to play. In doing this, the player could be committing the crime of promoting an illegal lottery.

Anyone who wants to promote a lottery in Britain must have a gambling licence from us or be registered with their local licensing authority.

You can check if an organisation has a gambling licence by using our public register. You can also ask the lottery organiser which local licensing authority they are registered with.

Lottery scams

You should also be aware of the potential for lottery scams.

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