Beware! AGMGroup is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
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AGMGroup is Forex brokerage presumably registered in the UK. It provides the MetaTrader4 trading platform and an extremely generous leverage. Traders are extended a leverage of up to 1:500. Furthermore, there is a wide range of trading products from which to choose and a spread of 1.5 pips on EUR/USD which is just about the industry average. The required minimum deposit is only $250 which is also the standard in Forex trading and nothing out of the ordinary.
AGMGroup regulation & safety of funds
The company behind AGMGroup is purported to be AGM Limited, however, going through the brokers website we find no mention of an address, nor a country of origin. Researching the company name nothing connected with Forex trading turned up. We did find a company in the UK by the same name, however, we can safely say it has nothing whatsoever to do with foreign currency derivatives trading. We can safely conclude that the brokerage is not monitored by any regulatory body. Such anonymity and lack of corporate information is worrisome signs and probably means that the brokerage has ill-minded intentions.
However, in order to be impartial – the brokerage does in fact offer the MetaTrader4 platform which is the foremost trading terminal at the moment and it also provides clients with a test-drive. However, there is, again, a caveat – the platform is actually provided by a third party, Solid Plus Ltd. Researching the company we find it is blacklisted by the Italian financial watchdog CONSOB. This is a major red flag.
Nonetheless,through a demo account we could see a spread on EUR/USD of a pip and a half which is just about the industry average. On it we could see that clients are extended a leverage of up to 1:500 which is absurdly high and cannot be provided anywhere in Europe due to new restrictions set by ESMA. The cap on the maximum allowed leverage in Europe is 1:30 at the moment. Such restrictions have even forced some brokerages in the UK – such as Abshire-Smith – to cease operations.
On the website of the brokerage we did come across another major red flag. The brokerage purposefully attempts to mislead traders into thinking it is in some way connected with the CySEC-licensed AGM Markets. If we had to guess – we would say it has chosen its name precisely in order to pull of this trick.
We repeat again – AGMGroup has nothing to do with AGM Markets and does not fall under any regulatory oversight whatsoever. Having in mind all that was outlined above – we suspect potential clients may be exposed 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.
AGMGroup deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Potential clients of the brokerage have a very poor choice of available payment methods. They may deposit or withdraw only via Visa, MasterCard, Bank wire and PayPal.
In the brokers terms and conditions we could not find any worrisome withdrawal conditions, however, having in mind all the irregularities already apparent in the brokerage – we wouldn’t be surprised if AGMGroup has some unexpected fees in store for clients that have already made the mistake of depositing funds.
This is precisely why we always 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?
Besides judging the brokerage beforehand through the info given on its website, a valuable piece of information in the trading world would be precisely how a scam would go about. Here is a description of the typical three steps:
Through clicking an ad with promises for fast money, you will be redirected to a website such as Bitcoin Evolution or Crypto Cash 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 motive here is quite straightforward – traders have a limited time window for filing a chargeback with their bank and get their money back. The “recovery department” will simply want to mislead you into missing this crucial period and, along the way, losing any chance you might have of getting the money back.
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. The growth of scammers that are spawning everyday in forex trading has forced both financial services giants Visa and Mastercard to step up and take action. MasterCard has already increased the previous time period of six months for filing a chargeback to a year and a half, effectively bypassing the “recovery department” part of the scam, and its rival Visa will follow suit in December.
If, however, you have provided the broker with your credit card number and CVV code, 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!