Beware! iFXOption is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
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iFXOption is a CFD brokerage based in Hungary. It provides а web-based trading platform, not the the MetaTrader 4 platform. Clients are extended a leverage of up to 1:200 and have a wide range of currency pairs available. The spread on EUR/USD is 3.6 pips and the required minimum deposit is also high at $300 which is unfavorable for traders.
iFXOption regulation & safety of funds
Reading through the terms and conditions of the brokerage we discern that the website is actually operated by a Hungarian company with the name Elle L’Navire Kft. We remind readers that 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 iFXOption 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. Through a demo account we could get a sneak peak at the web-based trading platform the brokerage provides. Here is a screenshot:
As you can see – the spread on EUR/USD is 3.6 which is excessively high and more than double the industry average of a pip and a half. Furthermore, the web-based trading platform leaves something to be desired and the required minimum deposit is also a bit above the industry average. Usually brokerages require at least $250 in order to begin trading.
Putting aside the trading conditions of the brokerage – the lack of regulation incline us to suspect that potential clients of the brokerage may be exposed 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 85 000 pounds, where as with CySEC it is up to 20 000 euro per person.
IFXOption deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Potential clients of the brokerage may deposit or withdraw via the standard Visa, MasterCard and bank wire, as well as the popular e-wallet QIWI, WebMoney, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard, giropay, iDeal, Moneta, Astropay and Yandex.
Going through the terms and conditions of the brokerage we did come upon provisions worth noting. We did not find any stated withdrawal fees either, however, dealing with unregulated brokerage we may never be sure whether they wont charge unexpected fees once the clients have deposited their funds. 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 Btcoinpro – 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!