Beware! Sigma4Trade is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
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Sigma4Trade is a Forex brokerage registered in the Marshall Islands. It provides both a web-based trading terminal and the MT5 trading platform, as well as a leverage of up to 1:50. Furthermore, there is a wide range of trading products from which to choose and a required minimum deposit of $250 which is the industry average. The spread on EUR/USD is just 0.9 pips which is quite below the standard pip and a half and quite favorable for traders.
Sigma4Trade regulation & safety of funds
According to the website the company behind the brokerage Sigma4trade Ltd is registered in the Marshall Islands with an address we have seen with countless other brokerages. Here is a screenshot:
The Marshall Islands has become a top-destination for would-be scammers due to its very liberal laws regarding the registering of companies. The government does not even require for someone to be physically there in order to register a company. Such a loophole has surely been noticed by many ill-minded brokers and utilized. Nonetheless, it’s safe to assume that the company behind the brokerage, irrespective of its legitimacy, does not fall under any regulatory oversight because the government of the Marshall Islands does not include Forex trading within its regulatory framework.
Putting that aside, the brokerage states that it provides the MetaTrader 5 trading platform, including a web version. The MT5 is among the foremost trading terminals in Forex trading at the moment, close to 80 percent of users prefer it. The platform provides an advanced charting package, lots of technical indicators, extensive back-testing environment and a variety of Expert Advisors (EAs). Beginner traders will find the trading platform easy to use as well, due to its user-friendly lay out. Here is a screenshot:
We see that the spread on EUR/USD is 0.9 pips which is below the industry average. The leverage extended to traders is 1:50 which is both generous and balanced. Putting that aside, the offshore location of the brokerage and the unspecified address highly incline us to suspect 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 85 000 pounds, where as with CySEC it is up to 20 000 euro per person.
Sigma4Trade deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
In the terms and conditions of the brokerage we did not find any noteworthy provisions regarding the withdrawal, but we have to highlight the bonus conditions.
The bonus conditions are absolutely ridiculous. Traders are required to execute a minimum trading volume of $20,000 for every bonus dollar. This literally means that clients will not be able to withdraw if they take advantage of the bonus promotion. As was said above – we did not find any withdrawal fees, however, this does not mean there aren’t any withdrawal fees necessarily. This is why we always advise traders to 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?
Unfortunately, the possibility of a scam looms over almost every trade in forex, especially if you are dealing with an unregulated brokerage. That is why we believe traders should be acquainted with the methods of a scam. Here is how it would typically go about:
Through clicking an ad with promises for fast money, you will be redirected to a website such as Bitcoin Evolution or Crypto Cash 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 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.
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!