Beware! Merit Forex is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
RECOMMENDED FOREX BROKERS
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Open trading accounts with at least two brokers.
Merit Forex is an offshore broker that gives access to over 40 currency pairs and CFDs on spot metals like gold, silver, platinum and palladium, crude oil, 14 indices and even Bitcoin traded against the USD.
Among the forex pairs we found a number of exotic ones, including Polish Zloty, Mexican Peso, Hungarian Forint, Hong Kong Dollar, Chinese Yuan, Czech Krona, Danish Krone, Russian Ruble, South African Rand, Swedish Krona, Norwegian Krone, Turkish Lira and Singapore Dollar.
Spreads, as tested with a demo account, were quite competitive – the benchmark EURUSD spread floated around 0,7 – 0,8 pips, which is attractive. Have in mind that spreads staring below 1,5 pips with a standard account are generally considered competitive.
The maximum leverage allowed with Merit Forex is as high as 400:1 and they support the MetaTarder4 trading platform, which is another plus.
Trading conditions put aside, our main issue with Merit Forex remains with their regulatory status.
Merit Forex regulation & safety of funds
Merit Forex is owned and operated by Merit Financial Services Ltd – a company incorporated in Vanuatu – a small atoll in the South Pacific Ocean.
And they also say to be licensed by the local Vanuatu Financial Service Commission (VFSC).
Here we should note that the regulatory regime and credibility of VFSC in no way matches those of respected financial authorities in the industry such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
All those major regulators have a very strict set of rules, among which the requirement all brokers to file regular reports, to allow external audits, to maintain a certain minimum operational capital, to keep all clients money in a segregated, protected form creditors account, and in certain cases even to insure traders money.
Thus, if you trade with an FCA broker, for example, you will be able to receive back up to 50 000 GBP of your trading capital in case your broker files for bankruptcy. This is done through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), supported by FCA.
Similarly with a CySEC broker you will be able to retrieve up to 20 000 EUR of your capital.
VFSC on the other hand, even if they try to implement some rules, they simply do not have the capacity to supervise internationally operating brokers. Vanuatu, as we already mentioned, is just a tiny nation in the middle of the Pacific.
Merit Forex deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
In addition to the standard methods of payment like credit or debit cards like VISA and MasterCard, bank transfer and some popular e-wallets like Neteller and Skrill, at Merit Forex you can pay even with Bitcoins.
The minimum deposit requirement to open a Standard Account is 250 USD, while for the premium VIP Account the minimum investment is set at 10 000 USD.
How does the scam work?
The most common scenario goes like this: You will happen to watch a well cut video add, created to convince you how easily you can get filthy rich by simply investing with a state-of-the-art trading app or platform. And all you need to do is to register, leaving your e-mail and phone.
The video will most probably be hosted on one of the so called robo- scam websites, like Bitcoin Revolution or Bitcoin Method. And if you get hooked and do register, you will most probably be transferred to the web page of a unregulated, offshore broker.
There you will be asked for an initial investment, something like 250 USD and if you agree to deposit those money the people running the robo -scam website will get their commission, while you will be awarded a brand new trading account with a scam broker.
Besides, your first trades will most probably be rather successful and in a short while the money in your trading account will most probably double. That, however, will happen because your trading account will be manipulated and not necessarily because you have taken great trading decisions. The idea is that by tasting the virtual profits, you will be more willing to invest a more substantial sum.
That is also when you will probably receive a call form a “senior account manager”, who will rather professionally explain, that if you want to make some real money you will simply have to invest more – like 10 000 USD.
And chances are you will deposit those money as well. Besides, at first everything will seem fine – you will continue to make good trades and your trusted “account manager” will try to convince you to reinvest again.
However, everything will change the moment you decide to withdraw some of your funds. It will simply turn out it is not possible, because of some obscure clause in the Terms and Conditions, you have omitted to notice, linking your right to withdraw with some minimum trade volume requirement and probably with the welcoming bonus you have so gladly accepted in the first place. The pretext might be different, but the result will be the same – scammers will not give you any money back.
What to do if scammed?
Immediately contact your credit card company and file for a charge back. The good news here is that MasterCard and VISA adopted some new rules in an effort to curb investment risks, focusing precisely on the retail forex market. With the new rules you will have 540 days to file for a charge back. MasterCard has already enforced the regulation, while VISA will do the same in December.
If for any reason you have given away your credit card number or online banking password, immediately block your credit card and change the password for your online banking service.
Finally, in the unfortunate event you have lost money to scammers, do not loose even more by seeking the services of the so called recovery agencies. They will surely take an upfront payment and basically that is how the story will end.