Beware! Olympus Markets 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.
Olympus Markets is an offshore forex brokerage registered in Vanuatu. It provides a web-based trading platform, not the MT4 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, but the fixed spread of 3 pips is quite high and double the industry average. The required minimum deposit is $100 which is standard.
Olympus Markets regulation & safety of funds
On the brokers website we read that the broker brand is owned and operated by a Vanuatu-based company by the name Next Trade Ltd. with a registered address: PO BOX 1276, Port Vila, Vanuatu. We also read that a Bulgarian company manages the payments of the brokerage. Bulgaria a member-state of the European Union and online Forex trading is duly integrated within its regulatory framework which is modeled after the ESMA guidelines. All Vanuatu brokers are subject to the regulatory oversight of the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission, however, going through the website we do not find mention of a license neither by the Bulgarian authorities, nor by the Vanuatu commission. After checking the online registry of the VFSC – we can safely conclude that the brokerage does not fall under any regulatory oversight whatsoever.
The brokerage does provide a test-drive for its web-based platform. Here is a screenshot:
On it we could see a fixed spread of 3 pips on EUR/USD which is quite high and about twice the industry average of a pip and a half. Furthermore, the leverage extended to clients is 1:500 which isn’t very balanced and hides risks of losing more than the initial deposit. Overall, the lack of regulation and the questionable trading conditions incline 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.
Olympus Markets deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
In the terms and conditions of the brokerage we did come across a few quite troubling provisions.
The brokerage charges a clearance fee of 0.5 percent from every trade up to $1000. Trades over $1000 are charged a fixed fee оf $5. There is also a withdrawal fee of 3.5 percent or a flat $30. Accounts that have been inactive for more than two months are subject to a monthly maintenance fee of $200. Such fees are quite excessive and should not figure among the terms of a legitimate brokerage.
Many scammers choose not to disclose such information to would-be clients. Without proper information on the website we cannot be certain whether clients won’t be charged with any unexpected withdrawal or deposit fees once they invest. 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 Lidya Trade – 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!