Beware! IEE Markets is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
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IEE Markets is a Forex brokerage registered in Belize. According to the brokerage clients are extended an extremely generous leverage of up to 1:400. Furthermore, there is wide range of trading products from which to choose, but a required minimum deposit of $1000 which is pretty high and quite unfavorable for traders. The brokerage provides the MT4 trading terminal and on it we could see a spread of 0.4 pips on EUR/USD, however, the broker charges commission fees that add up to 3.4 pips which is more than twice the industry average.
IEE Markets regulation & safety of funds
According to the website the company behind the brokerage is registered in the Republic of Belize with the name IEE Markets Global Ltd. We further find written that the company is supposedly licensed and regulated by the local International Financial Services Commission (IFSC). Forex brokerages in Belize have to guarantee legitimacy by having at least $500 000 in starting capital. However, even though a license by the IFSC is better than nothing, it still does not carry the same weight in Forex trading as a license by the NFA in the US or the FCA in the United Kingdom.
However, going on the online registry of the regulatory agency we find no mention of the company’s name which leads us to conclude that the information presented on the website is faulty and that the brokerages does not fall under any regulatory oversight whatsoever.
Nonetheless, the brokerage does provide clients with the MetaTrader 4 trading terminal which is the preferred trading terminal of over 80 percent of forex traders. Furthermore, through registering for a live account, we could check out the trading platform and see leverage of 1:400 which is quite high. Trading with such a leverage hides the risk of losing more than the initial deposit. There was also a spread on EUR/USD of 0.4 pips which seems quite low, however, the brokerage also charges a commission fee of $30 per lot which adds about 3 pips to the spread making it quite unfavorable for traders.
The lack of adequate regulation, as well as the high spread inclines us to believe that there are better trading options for clients in Forex trading.
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 85 000 pounds, where as with CySEC it is up to 20 000 euro per person.
IEE Markets deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
We found only scattered information regarding the available payment methods. Potential clients of the brokerage may deposit or withdraw via the standard Visa and MasterCard, as well as bank wire but we could not find any other available payment methods.
We couldn’t find any explicitly stated withdrawal fees either, however, every unregulated brokerage may decide to charge a withdrawal fee once it has collected the initial deposit of the client. Having in mind this caveat, 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?
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!