Beware! FirstGroup 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.
FirstGroup is a CFD brokerage. It provides the MT4 trading platform and a generous leverage. Traders are extended a leverage of up to 1:200. Furthermore, there is a wide range of trading products from which to choose and a spread of just 1 pip on EUR/USD which is quite favorable for traders. However, the minimum deposit required by the brokerage is $1000 which is quite excessive in our view.
FirstGroup regulation & safety of funds
There are a lot of problems with this forex brokerage. First of, it is registered offshore in Belize and even though it is licensed by the local “International Financial Services Commission” potential clients are far from safe. Such a license does not carry much weight and potential victims of fraud do not have the safety mechanisms which are at hand with regulators such as the FCA in the UK or CySec in Cyprus.Furthermore, there is no demo account available and the MetaTrader 4 platform is powered by another brokerage – МТrading – which is also licensed in Belize. Such irregularities are the usual signs of trouble. All in all, both the excessive minimum deposit and the lack of credible regulation incline us to suspect that potential clients of the brokerage may be open to substantial risk.
We urge traders to exclude such risk in trading by only associating with brokers regulated by prestigious regulatory agencies, such as the FCA and CySec, which require compliance with a number of strict rules that give significant assurance for the security of the clients funds.
The segregation of accounts is among the rules which are especially important in the trading world, because it drastically lowers the risk of possible commingling.
Another is the participation in a compensatory scheme by which the client’s losses will be covered in the unlikely case the broker goes bankrupt or attempts to swindle traders.
FirstGroup Investments deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Potential clients of the brokerage may deposit or withdraw via Visa, MasterCard, bank/wire transfer, Neteller and UnionPay. We didn’t come across any fees or withdrawal conditions that we would consider worrisome, but having in mind all the irregularities that were pointed out above – we can safely conclude that FirstGroup has ill-minded intentions towards potential clients. Furthermore, it is quite common for scammers not to disclose information about such withdrawal fees, only to charge clients after they have already invested funds with them.
This is why we remind readers of all the ways a trader may test the brokerage’s intentions. Firstly, traders are advised to always put up only the required minimum deposit, instead of risking a bigger amount with no certainty. Afterwards, they may also try to withdraw a small amount in order to check for any unexpected fees or delays. Such fees and delays are usually the signs of a scammer.
How does the scam work?
Even though the forex trading world is extremely large and encompasses millions of people around the globe, the most common scamming is pretty simple and straightforward and as such – it’s not particularly daring to avoid. Here is a quick overview of how it is done:
Through clicking an ad with promises for fast money, you will be redirected to a website such as Bitcoin Evolution or Crypto Revolt where registration will require you to give your address, email and phone number. After sharing your personal information, you will being receiving calls from brokers, compelling you to invest with them and win big. After a few minutes hearing their pitches, you decide to deposit some $200-250. And just like that – the scammers take a fat commission from this initial deposit.
After they are done with you, senior scammers begin working you into putting even more money. They say it’s the only way to profit from trading even more. After making the mistake of investing even further, you’ll begin wanting to get out of this and withdraw what you have left.
Unfortunately, the con-artists have no such thing in mind. They will now begin persuading you to wait it out and not withdraw right now. The angle here is pretty blunt – traders have a limited time period for filing a chargeback with their bank and get their money back. The “recovery department” will simply want to mislead you into missing thе crucial period and, along the way, losing any chance you might have of getting the money back.
It is important here to take notice that both Visa and MasterCard are taking measures to combat unregulated forex brokerages by classifying all forex transactions as high risk. And with the case Glenmore Investments – they are correct in doing so. Furthermore, supporting their intention with clear actions – MasterCard has increased the previous time period of six months for filing a chargeback to a year and a half. Visa is expected to do the same in December.
What to do when scammed?
As was mentioned above, scamming is quite the common in the trading world and, sadly, even you might suffer from it. In such an unfortunate case there still may be some available options for you.
You may contact your bank or credit card provider and file a chargeback.
If, however, you have provided the broker with your credit card details, immediately cancel your credit card.
If you have given information regarding your online banking pass – you should switch it asap!
Beware of potential calls from self-described “recovery agencies”! They prey on scammed and vulnerable traders who are desperate to recover their losses. They will require an “up-front” payment to help you, but after paying them, no such help will be coming your way!