Beware! Information Alpha Group is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Open trading accounts with at least two brokers.
Information Alpha Group claims to be a forex and CFD broker offering a good variety of currency pairs and CFDs with a leverage of up to 200:1 on the MetaTrader4 platform. However, we have some very serious issues with the regulatory status and the credibility of the broker as a whole, so if you are thinking about investing with them be sure to read this review first.
As far as the trading conditions are concerned, because there is no much information shared on Information Alpha Group website, we decided to open a demo account and to check the spreads first hand. When we downloaded MetaTrader4, however, we were offered the default demo version of the platform form MetaQuotes Software Corp. website, which is not indicative of the conditions a client will face, if he or she decides to open a trading account with Information Alpha Group.
Information Alpha Group regulation & safety of funds
Except for the two contact addresses on the web page of the broker – one in Mexico and one in the UK, we have quite limited information about who actually operates website.
From the Terms and Conditions section of the website we learn that Information Alpha Group represents Advanced Global Markets Ltd, but there is no further information.
And if we assume that they are incorporated in the UK or Mexico, the broker should be regulated in one of the two countries.
So we diligently checked the register of the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, but were unable to find neither Information Alpha Group nor Advanced Global Markets Ltd. there. And as forex and CFD brokers in Mexico are not regulated by the the local authorities, that leaves us with no choice but to regard Information Alpha Group as an unregulated entity.
Have in mind that if you choose to invest with an unregulated broker the safety of your investment depends solely on the integrity of the people behind the broker.
Brokers, supervised by well respected financial institutions such as the FCA in the UK, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have to abide by strict regulatory regimes, which ensure traders will be able to withdraw their funds, including the profit they have accrued, anytime they want.
Also, properly regulated brokers are required to file regular reports, to allow external audits, to keep all clients funds in a segregated, protected from creditors account, to maintain certain minimum capital adequacy ratio and with some regulators even to insure traders capital.
In the event their broker files for bankruptcy, traders with CySEc brokers, for example, are entitled to a compensation of up to 20 000 EUR. Similarly, traders with FCA brokers can receive back up to 50 000 GBP of their trading capital.
Information Alpha Group deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Information Alpha Group are accepting deposits via credit or debit cards, e-wallets (without specifying which) and bank wire.
Here we should note as well that the broker has a rather unusual withdraw policy.
Information Alpha Group says they guarantee a return of between 12% and 18% for a month, if you accept a trading bonus. To receive the bonus, however, you will have to invest at least 5000 USD for a minim period of three months.
In addition, to be able to withdraw their funds, clients who had accepted the bonus will have to make minimum 24 trades with a minimum 72 lots. Have in mind that 1 standard lot is equal to 100 000 base currency units so to trade 72 lots means to trade with 7,2 million currency units at a time, which even if you use them maximum leverage allowed – 1:200, requires an investment of 36 000 USD.
Such a withdraw requirement will be more than challenging to attain.
How does the scam work?
Scammers use different methods to steal money form gullible traders and yet here is one of the popular scenarios.
Usually it will all start with a video, you will happen to watch on the Internet. It will be on one of those robo scam websites like Bitcoin Revolution or Bitcoin Method and will be about how easily you can get fabulously rich by investing just a small sum with an innovative trading app.
If you get hooked, at first all you will be asked to fill a simple registration form, leaving your e-mail and phone and than you will be transferred to the website of an unregulated, offshore broker, where you will be asked for an initial deposit of about 250 USD.
Take a note that your first trades will be amazingly successful. But that will happen, because your trading account will be manipulated, so that you can get more easily persuaded to invest more.
Also that is when you will probably receive a call from a senior account manager, who will be impressed by your trading performance, but who will explain, that if you want to make some real money, you will simply have to invest more – like 10 000 USD or so.
Chances are you will invest those money as well. Take a note that your account manager will try to convince you to continue investing and everything will seem fine until the moment you decide to withdraw some of your funds.
They will simply refuse to give you any money back on the ground that you have not completed some withdraw requirements, you have agreed with, when you opened your account, without noticing. Those may be linked to a trading bonus you have accepted or to something else. In any case, the bottom line is you will not be able to withdraw anything.
Also take a note that at some point the scammers will ask you to send them a copy of your ID and a proof of address – your latest electricity bill for example. They will say they need those documents because of the anti-money laundering regulations, but in truth if you send them your personal information voluntarily, they will have a much stronger case, when you file for a charge back with your credit card company.
What to do if scammed?
In the unfortunate event you are a victim of scammers, immediately file for a charge back with your credit card provider. Have in mind you will be able to do that only within the first six months after you have made the deposit.
If, for any reason you have given away your credit card number or online banking password, or if you have agreed to install Team Viewer, immediately cancel your credit card, delete Team Viewer and change the password for your online banking service.
Finally, even if you have lost money to scammers, do not try to contact the so called recovery agencies. You will be simply asked for an upfront payment and basically you will end up even deeper in to the red.