Under the authority of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), the CFTC writes rules and supervises market activity and market participants—including exchanges, clearing organizations, large traders, and the companies and individuals who handle customer funds or offer trading advice. The agency holds wrongdoers accountable by investigating and prosecuting violations of the CEA and Commission regulations as well as providing other adjudicatory forums to address alleged misconduct. The CFTC also educates customers about their rights, protections, and how to spot, avoid, and report fraud.
The Division of Enforcement investigates and prosecutes alleged violations of the CEA and Commission regulations. The division takes civil enforcement actions against individuals and firms registered with the Commission, those who are engaged in trading derivatives products on designated domestic exchanges, and those who improperly market futures, options, swaps, and commodity contracts, including various digital currencies. Learn more:
The Office of Proceedings is primarily responsible for administering the Reparations Program which provides an affordable and efficient adjudicatory forum for customers seeking damages for losses incurred as a result of alleged misconduct of registered trading professionals that violates the Commodity Exchange Act. Independent judges employed by the Commission hear reparations claims and issue decisions that may be reviewed by the Commission and ultimately by a federal appeals court.
For more information about decisions issued in Reparations and other proceedings administered through the Office of Proceedings, see:
For more information on how to file a Reparations complaint, see:
The CFTC Whistleblower Program, which was established by the Dodd-Frank Act, provides monetary incentives to individuals who come forward to report possible violations of the Commodity Exchange Act. It also provides anti-retaliation protections for whistleblowers. The program is administered by the agency’s Whistleblower Office, a branch of the Division of Enforcement. More information about the Whistleblower Program, including how to file a complaint, can be found at www.whistleblower.gov.
Learn and Protect
The Dodd-Frank Act amended the CEA to establish the CFTC Customer Protection Fund. This fund pays for awards to eligible whistleblowers and for “customer education initiatives designed to help customers protect themselves against fraud or other violations of [the CEA], or the rules and regulations thereunder.” The agency meets this requirement by educating customers about their rights, protections, and how to spot, avoid, and report fraud. These efforts are administered by the CFTC’s Office of Customer Education and Outreach, a branch of the Market Participants Division.
Before you trade in the derivatives markets, educate yourself on the basics of trading and learn to protect yourself from fraud. Learn more here. For example, before agreeing to provide someone your funds determine if they are registered and that you have confirmed where they physically do business.
If you have been the victim of fraud, or received a solicitation you believe to be fraudulent, contact the Division of Enforcement.
Importantly, if you believe you have provided funds to a fraudster DO NOT SEND THEM ANY MORE MONEY! Commonly, fraudsters will show victims unrealistically large profits but require additional payments (for supposed fees, taxes, or commissions) to withdraw their principal or earnings. No matter how much money victims send, they never see any of those funds again.