In an announcement in the section of its website devoted to Google AdWords policy, the internet search and advertising giant announced that beginning in June 2018.
Google will restrict the advertising of contracts for difference, rolling spot forex, and financial spread betting, as well as enforce an outright ban on advertising for binary options and cryptocurrencies.
The move could have major consequences for Israel’s economy, or at least for a large stratum of professional scammers who have operated with impunity for the last decade and who could see their incomes drop significantly.
Over the last decade, Israel has become a global hub of investment scams, employing more than 10,000 new immigrants and foreign-language speakers in boiler rooms throughout the country, selling fraudulent binary options, forex, CFDs and cryptocurrency investments over the phone and internet to people abroad.
In the absence of attention from law enforcement, such criminal activity ballooned to the point where binary options fraud alone was estimated to earn about $10 billion a year in revenue, much of it flowing to criminal operatives based in Israel.
Google’s move to ban advertising for all of these largely fraudulent industries, which came about as a result of relentless pressure from US and Canadian regulators, will deliver the massive blow to Israel’s investment scam industry that Israel’s Knesset has failed to deliver, sources with knowledge of the industry told The Times of Israel.
Google said it would ban binary options and cryptocurrency ads outright while requiring that advertisers offering contracts for difference, rolling spot forex, and financial spread betting be certified by Google before they can advertise through AdWords.
Certification will only be available, Google said, if a website is “licensed by the relevant financial services authority in the country or countries they are targeting.”
Google’s policy will apply globally to all accounts that advertise these financial products, the company said.
The Times of Israel / AA-Magnum News 2018.