Beware! BearsMarkets is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
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BearsMarkets is a CFD brokerage which emphasizes on crypto currency trading and we believe is based in Hungary. It provides а web-based trading platform, and not the MetaTrader 5 trading platform, and we could see a spread of $30 on BTC/USD. Clients have at their disposal a leverage of just 1:5 and a wide range of crypto pairs. BearsMarkets regulation & safety of funds
According to the website of the brokerage the company behind BearsMarkets is based in Hungary and is registered with the name Danha Solutions KFT.
Hungary is 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. However, we find no mention of a license by the Hungarian authorities – thus we may safely conclude that the brokerage BearsMarkets does not fall under any regulatory oversight whatsoever. However, the brokerage does inform us about its trading conditions and it provides a web-based trading platform. However, there is no demo account available which we consider a disadvantage for the brokerage because traders cannot get acquainted with the trading conditions. We are informed from the website that the spread on BTC/USD is $30 which is quite favorable and way below the industry average. Furthermore, the leverage extended to traders is only 1:5 which is quite low, although we emphasize that trading with a high leverage hides the risk of losing more than your initial deposit.
Putting aside the trading conditions of the brokerage – while researching the brokerage on the web we came upon an official warning issued by the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) in Belgium.
On it we read that the Belgian financial watchdog suspects BearsMartkets of taking part in scam operations and further states that it has illegally targeted British traders without proper authorization from the relevant authorities. Being blacklisted is perhaps the most clear-cut sign of trouble in Forex trading. We may safely assume that potential clients of the brokerage may be open to substantial risk.
Traders needn’t have to worry themselves with such risk if they choose to trade with a brokerage regulated and authorized by a prestigious regulatory agency. Such agencies are the FCA in the UK or CySec in Cyprus which have been leading names in Forex trading for some time now. Their regulatory framework is composed of a number of strict rules which prevent clients from falling victims to fraud. Such rules include the segregation of accounts which assures that commingling with the client’s money is not possible. Furthermore, a license by such a regulatory body entails participation in a financial mechanism by which clients may be compensated if they suffer losses due to fraud or bankruptcy. With the FCA the compensation is up to 50 000 GBP, where as with CySEC it is up to 20 000 EUR per person
BearsMarkets deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Potential clients of the brokerage may deposit or withdraw via a wide range of payment methods. They include the standard Visa, MasterCard and bank wire, as well as QIWI, WebMoney and Yandex. Going through the terms and conditions of the brokerage we did come upon worrisome withdrawal conditions.
Going through the terms and conditions of the brokerage we did come upon worrisome withdrawal conditions.However, this is no guarantee the brokerage won’t charge any unexpected fees. Here is a screenshot:
There is a $50 withdrawal fee for wire transfers, $25 for credit cards plus a processing fee of $10. The withdrawal fee for e-wallets is $25. Furthermore, every account that has not executed more than 200 in turnover will be charged 10 percent for each withdrawal. There is also a minimum withdrawal amount of $250 for wire transfer and $100 for all the rest of the payment methods. Such provision clearly show that the brokerage intends to wrest all of the clients money through a plethora of fees. 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 Lite FinTech – 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.
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!