Beware! GFTrade 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.
GFTrade is a Forex brokerage presumably registered in both the Marshall Islands and SVG. It provides a MT4 trading terminal and the required minimum deposit is only $10 which is quite below the industry average of $250. Furthermore, there is wide range of trading products from which to choose and a floating spread of 2 pips which is a bit above the industry average and above what we would call favorable for traders.
GFTrade regulation & safety of funds
According to the website the company behind the brokerage is registered in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines by the name GFTRADE INC.. This means the brokerage is registered offshore and not subject to any regulatory oversight because the government of SVG has multiple times publicly stated it does not oversee online Forex trading. Thus we may safely conclude that the brokerage GFTrade does not fall under any regulatory oversight whatsoever.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a preferred location for many unregulated brokerages due to the country’s vague and liberal laws regarding the registering of firms. We have seen and reviewed countless brokerages registered offshore precisely there. The downside for clients is that there is no authority to which to turn to in case of fraud. This way clients of the brokerage are left quite vulnerable.
However, in order to be impartial we must say that the brokerage does in fact provide the MetaTrader 4 platform which is the foremost trading terminal at the moment. There is also a test-drive available and we could see a spread of 2 pips with a leverage of 1:500.
Regardless of this, the lack of regulation and the offshore location inclines us to suspect that potential clients of the brokerage 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.
GFTrade Investments deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Going through the terms and conditions of the brokerage, we couldn’t find any specific worrisome withdrawal conditions, however, we read the following quite nerve-wracking statement:
Such ambiguous statements among the terms of any brokerage. Having in mind all that was stated above, we advise traders stay away from the brokerage and to always be diligent and 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?
Information is a pretty solid criteria for judging a brokers legitimacy. Scammers would not share much of their information, because precisely there inconsistencies and irregularities may appear which expose the whole set-up. A good example is this very broker and the misleading information it gave regarding its regulatory status.
After informing themselves for the brokers trading conditions – traders should be well-versed in the way of the scam:
Through clicking an ad with promises for fast money, you will be redirected to a website such as Bitcoin Evolution 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 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. Furthermore, due to the high instances of fraud – both Visa and MasterCard have decided to sidestep scammers as best they can in forex trading. The first thing we have seen so far is that MasterCard has increased the previous time period of six months for filing a chargeback to a year and a half with their peer Visa expected to follow suit in December.
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!