Beware! WigMarket 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.
WigMarkets is a CFD brokerage based in Vanuatu. It provides the MetaTrader 5 trading platform and a spread of 2 pips on EUR/USD which is a bit above the industry average of a pip and a half. Clients are extended a generous leverage of up to 1:400 and the required minimum deposit is $500 which is twice the industry average and a bit excessive in our view.
WigMarkets regulation & safety of funds
There is a staggering lack of clarity when it comes to the corporate information presented on the website of the brokerage. First of, we come across the names of several companies without being sure which exactly is behind the brokerage – CM Trading or SUNTALK LIMITED. Furthermore, we stumbled across a peculiar mention of the Investor Compensation Fund which is the financial mechanism of the Cyprus regulatory body Cysec by which clients may be compensated for losses. However, neither of the companies turn up on a search in the registry of CySec. We do read in the terms and conditions of the brokerage that it follows the laws of Vanuatu which inclines us to believe it is registered there, however, there is a lack of clarity regarding the matter. Most crucial of all, however, is the warning issued by Italian financial watchdog CONSOB regarding the brokerage. Here is a screenshot:
It states that the National Commission for Companies and the Stock exchange have ordered the cessation of unauthorised investments services and activities by Wigmarkets. Anonymity is something quite preferred by scammers because there is no way scammed clients may contact them afterwards. We can safely conclude that Wigmarkets does not fall under any regulatory oversight. However, the brokerage does inform us about its trading conditions and it provides the MetaTrader 5 platform. Nonetheless, going through the brokerages website we kept coming across red flags after red flags and we believe that potential clients 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.
WigMarkets deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Potential clients of the brokerage may deposit or withdraw via Visa, MasterCard, Bank Wire, Neteller, WebMoney, PayPal, Skrill. Going through the terms and conditions of the brokerage we came upon the following:
As you can see from the screenshot – the brokerage charges a withdrawal fee of 1.5 percent (or $25 minimum charge and a maximum of $100). Even though fees certainly aren’t excessive, all this further incline us to suspect that the brokerage’s goal is to make money unethically off of clients.
This is why we advise traders 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 Cashless PayGroup 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 WigMarkets – 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!