Beware! Cointeck is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
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Cointeck 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 only gather that the required minimum deposit is $200 which is about the industry average.
Cointeck regulation & safety of funds
According to the website of the brokerage the company behind it is Estonian CCLR Limited with a registered address at 4 Parda St., Downtown District, Harju County, Tallinn, 10151. It further gives a license number – 14447182. Brokerages in Estonia have to licensed by the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority (EFSA). Its website is available in English and keeps a registry of regulated entities that can easily be checked:
As can be seen – a search on the company’s name does not yield any relevant results which is why it is blank. As far as we know, the only licensed Estonian brokerage is Admiral Markets AS. This leads us to safely conclude that the company behind the brokerage does not fall under any regulatory oversight whatsoever. The brokerage does provide a web-based trading platform which supports the demo account option. Through the test-drive we could see that the company offers CFD trading on crypto currency pairs.
The lack of regulation is a serious problem and inclines us to suspect that potential clients of the brokerage may be open to substantial risk. Without regulation clients have no assurance regarding the brokerages legitimacy. We must go only on the word of the brokerage and that hardly suffices. It is interesting to note that Estonia is the only country in the EU so far that has granted a license to a cryptocurrency exchange, however, this exciting news has garnered scammers with a new trope to mislead traders. Very often they would purport to be licensed in Estonia simply due to the misconception about the liberal laws of the country. We advise all traders dealing with “Estonian” brokerages to always diligently check the EFSA website.
We also urge traders to exclude the 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.
Cointeck deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Potential clients of the brokerage may deposit or withdraw via Visa, Bank wire, PaysafeCard, WebMoney, QIWI Wallet, Yandex Money, AstroPay, Neteller and Skrill. Going through the brokers terms we did come across worrisome provisions such as withdrawal fees and maintenance fees. We read the Cointeck will charge a monthly maintenance fee of $7.50 on all trading accounts. There is also a profit clearance fee which according to the website ranges “between a minimum of 1.50 and maximum of 5.00 per trade (USD, GBP or EUR)” Again from the website we read that ” service fee of 3.5% is charged on all other withdrawals. In the event that this percentage equals an amount of $30 or below, the trader will be charged a standard $30 withdrawal fee”. Such fees are quite excessive in our view and should not figure among the terms and conditions of a legitimate 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 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 Cointeck – 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!