Beware! Olympia 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.
Olympia Markets is a Forex brokerage presumably registered in Estonia. It provides a web-based trading platform and clients are extended a generous leverage of 1:100. Furthermore, there is wide range of trading products from which to choose but the spread on EUR/USD is 3 pips which is twice the industry average and not in favor for traders. There is a required minimum deposit of $250 which is just about the industry average.
Olympia Markets regulation & safety of funds
According to the website the brokerage is owned by a company registered in Estonia by the name Yield Enterprise Currency Software OU. We remine readers that Estonia is a member-state of the EU and has diligently included online Forex trading within its regulatory framework. However, after checking with the Estonian online registry, we can safely conclude it does not hold a license by Finantsinspektsioon.
Many unregulated brokerages prefer Estonia as a location because of its reputation as quite a liberal country when it comes to crypto trading and are hoping to take advantage of misinformed traders. We always recommend traders take a look at the online registry of the Finantsinspektsioon when dealing with a supposed “Estonian” brokerage. Putting that aside, the brokerage does provide a web-based trading platform which we got a look at through a demo account. Here is a screenshot:
As can be seen from the screenshot – the spread is 3 pips on EUR/USD which is twice the industry average and way above what we would consider favorable for traders. The leverage extended for traders is 1:100 which is quite generous and balanced as the same time.
Furthermore, while going through the website of the brokerage we read that it supposedly offers “an automated trading software”, as well as copy-trading. There isn’t a test-drive available for the automated trading software but the option of copy-trading is quite neat because it allows traders to follow other traders and automatically copy their dealings. It is a sort of social trading element in Forex which we always consider an advantage.
However, the lack of regulation inclines us to believe 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 Financial Conduct Authority 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. The FCA provides up to 85 000 pounds per person, while CySEC guarantees up to 20 000 euros.
Olympia Markets deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Potential clients of the brokerage may deposit or withdraw only via the standard Visa, MasterCard, wire transfer.
Going through the terms and conditions of the brokerage we did find a noteworthy provision. Here is a screenshot:
We read that the minimum withdrawal amount for wire transfers is $500 which is quite excessive in our view. Furthermore, the brokerage offers a bonus promotion and as always ties it with a trading volume requirement. Here is a screenshot:
The brokerage does not specify in the terms the amount of the trading volume.We did not read that there are any withdrawal fees but we advise traders to always be diligent and 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.
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!