Beware! SafeMarkets 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.
SafeMarkets is a forex brokerage owned by an Estonian company. Traders are provided with a web-based trading platform and a wide range of trading products. From the website we gather that potential clients are also extended an extremely generous leverage of up to 1:400, however, the same cannot be said of the spread. At 3 pips on EUR/USD, the spread offered by SafeMarkets is way above the industry average.
SafeMarkets regulation & safety of funds
According to the website of the brokerage the company behind it is Estonian Optiumcommerce OU. Strangely enough, we also come across a UK contact address on the website with no clarity as to what it represents when the company is based in Estonia, perhaps the brokerage has customer support in the UK.
Going through the terms and conditions of the brokerage we find no mention of a regulatory oversight from which we may safely conclude that the brokerage is not licensed by the FCA. The strange UK contact address, coupled with the clear lack of regulatory oversight are all warning signs for traders and reviewers alike. Such irregularities make us suspect that clients will be open to a number of risks.
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.
SafeMarket deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Potential clients of the brokerage may deposit or withdraw via VISA and MasterCard, Bank Wire, Bitcoin, Entropay, jubirter. Going through the brokers terms we did come across worrisome provisions such as trading volume requirement. In the terms we read that a trader must achieve a turnover requirement of 40 times the initial deposit. Such a provision is not acceptable for a legitimate Forex brokerage and only speaks for the ill-minded intentions of the brokerage.
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?
One of the reasons regulation has such value in the trading world is because scamming is quite common and it acts as a sort of guarantee that such a thing would not happen. Nevertheless, here is how a typical scam would go about:
Through clicking an ad with promises for fast money, you will be redirected to a website such as CashlessPay Group 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 of SafeMarkets – 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!