Beware! Option94 is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
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Option94 is a binary options and Forex brokerage based in the UK. Potential clients have at their disposal a web-based trading platform and a number of crypto-currency pairs. The brokerage chooses not to disclose much of its trading conditions but we do learn that the required minimum deposit for the most basic account is the staggering sum of $2000. This is quite excessive in our view and is telling about the intentions of the brokerage towards its clients.
Option94 regulation & safety of funds
The brokerage does not disclose the name of the company behind it and only gives three addresses – one in the UK, another in Australia and a third in the US. This is highly irregular and such a chaotic presentation of corporate information reeks of fraudulent activities. Here is a screenshot:
Even though we are given these three addresses and a contact number – we can never be certain whether they are in fact legitimate without knowing the name of the company. Furthermore, there is no demo account for the platform of the brokerage. Which means that traders are expected to put up $2000 without even being properly introduced to the trading conditions and the opportunities which the broker may provide. We also read in the website that the brokerage offers binary options trading which is prohibited in EU. Not only is the brokerage not regulated, does not give the companys name, but also pertains to offer a service which has been deemed illegal by European authorities. We also see supposed “testimonials” by ex-clients which elaborate in detail how much money Option 94 has won them. This is a popular trope among scammers and should not be seen as truthful.
All this highly inclines us to suspect that potential clients of the brokerage may be open to substantial risk.
Having in mind the complete lack of regulation, as well as a clear-cut sign of a trouble such as the corporate anonymity, we advise traders not to risk it with the brokerage.
Furthermore, we urge traders to minimize the risk in trading by taking up on their offers only brokers regulated by prestigious agencies, such as the UK’s FCA and CySec, 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.
Option94 deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Potential clients of the brokerage have an interesting selection of payment methods available for them. Traders may deposit or withdraw only via cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and others. Bank transfer is also available for clients of Option94.
However, we couldn’t find the terms and conditions of the brokerage which is another sign of trouble because this way we can’t be sure what nasty withdrawal conditions clients unknowingly are accepting when they invest funds with the brokerage. We did, however, come upon a disturbing piece of information in the FAQ section of the website.
Such a provision is very unfavorable for traders and should not be among the terms of a legitimate brokerage. Such “security reasons” are a complete farce and only serve to cover up the obvious unethical intentions the brokerage has towards the funds of its potential clients.
This brokerage is a nice reminder for traders to always have in mind the many safety-checks they may try with the brokerage, instead of trusting it at face-value. Firstly, they must always invest only the required minimum deposit, so that there is certainty about the legitimacy of the brokerage, before risking a bigger amount. Afterwards, they may also try to withdraw a small amount in order to check for any unexpected fees or delays. If they do – traders may rest assured that they’re dealing with a scammer.
How does the scam work?
One of the best trust-creators in the trading business is the regulatory status of a brokerage. Solid regulation is extremely important in business because it distills confidence and almost completely removes the risk that the brokerage might be a scam. Nevertheless, we may not always rely on regulation and traders should be informed about the ways of scamming:
Almost certainly you have had pop-up ads waving “quick money” at your face while browsing the internet many times. One day, you simply click on it and a nice-looking website such as Bitcoin Blueprint or Bitcoin’s wealth shows up asking you to register. After sharing your personal information, a call from a broker will undoubtedly come, a broker with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you. After a few minutes of him gabbing about it , you decide to deposit some $200-250. From those few hundred bucks the broker gets a fat commission.
However, brokers are surely aware they can get more out of you. They redirect you to the “retention” where next in line scammers begin working you into putting even more. After making the mistake of investing even further, you’ll begin wanting to get out of this and withdraw what is left of your account.
Now comes the “recovery” part of the scam. After stating that you wish to withdraw your money, the scammer will begin pleading with you to wait it out, six months at the most. What they aim at is barring you from filing a chargeback with your bank. If six months expire, that option is closed and your money is gone for good.
What to do if scammed?
We wish no trader has to consider such circumstances, however, in the dire case you are scammed – it is much better knowing what available options you have in front of you:
You may contact your bank or credit card provider and file a chargeback, but only within six months of the initial deposit, as was noted above.
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 and ready at anything to somehow recover their losses. They will say that in exchange for an up-front payment, you will get your money back, but no such thing will occur!