Fake news is a serious problem, and the online trading arena seems to be the latest victim, with stories luring unsuspecting readers into believing outrageous tales.

Robyn Francis, marketing manager at Uprise Markets, warns: “There’s a surge of fabricated online trading stories circulating the web. Trading platforms seem to have turned to sponsored content and stories of overnight success via online trading in forex, CFDs and mostly binary options to lure unsuspecting clients.

“Yes, there are success stories from online traders, those who have undergone proper training, have acquired the skills and take a long-term view, but expecting to become an overnight millionaire is certainly naïve.”

Francis provides a few things to consider when reading a news story:

* Don’t assume that everything you read is news. As simple as it sounds, the best tool we have is our own common sense. If it’s too good to be true, chances are it’s fake.

* Understand clickbait: Clickbait is a term describing web content that is aimed at generating online advertising revenue, using sensational headlines at the expense of quality or accuracy by enticing the reader into clicking through to the story.

* Check the source of the story: click through to the news article and check that the URL is a legitimate news portal. Only buy into a story if you recognise the source. If the URL has a strange ending – don’t count on it.  Some of these sites use a URL that is quite believable, even resembling genuine, familiar news sites.

* Sponsored stories should be labelled as ‘sponsored’ or ‘advertorial’ or ‘partner content’. These labels indicate that the content has been paid for and, therefore, is essentially an advertisement.

* If you are looking for a CFD trading platform look for one that is South African, is regulated by the Financial Services Board (FSB) and has branches like Uprise Markets that you can visit to talk to someone face-to-face.