Trading Futures and Options: Protection Against Fraud

The CFTC’s fraud awareness and prevention program involves

  • educating futures market users
  • protecting futures market participants and
  • reviewing information and complaints that market participants send to us.


The CFTC is the Federal agency that regulates the trading of commodity futures and options contracts in the United States and takes action against firms suspected of illegally or fraudulently selling commodity futures and options.


Before you trade in commodities or futures, know the kinds and signs of fraud and the basics of futures trading.

Protect yourself from the many types of commodities fraud that exist in today’s financial markets.

Be suspicious of a promise of high profits with low risk. Scams that falsely promise high profits with low risks are everywhere. Many are targeted at specific ethnic communities using the language of that community, from New York to South Florida, from the Southwest to California, and in other areas.

Be wary of any firm or individual offering to sell you commodity futures or options on commodities, including

  • precious metals, such as silver or gold
  • foreign currency, such as Euros, Yen, or Deutschmarks, or
  • crude oil, heating oil, unleaded gas, or agricultural products such as corn, soybeans, or cattle.

Be wary of any firm or individual offering to trade your money for you in commodity futures or options, or to pool your money with other customers.

The commodity futures and option markets are very risky and you can lose your entire investment very quickly. Anyone who claims otherwise might be breaking the law. Always ask for proof.