Beware! CapitalFMI is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
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CapitalFMI is an offshore Forex brokerage registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It provides a web-based trading platform, not the MT4 trading platform, and presumably offers a wide range of trading options. Traders are also extended a wide option of available payment methods which include many e-wallets. Further trading conditions remain uncertain.
CapitalFMI regulation & safety of funds
On the brokers website we read that the broker brand is owned and by a SVG-based company with the name Global ES Limited. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a well-known offshore zone and a preferred location for shady brokerage.
We remind readers that the government of SVG has multiple times publicly stated that it does not oversee Forex trading and thus we may safely conclude that the brokerage is not regulated. Furthermore, trading with an offshore, unregulated brokerage hides a lot of risk. There may be commingling which means that the brokerage may commingle together the finances of the firm and the finances of the clients. We also read that the website is operated by a company based in Estonia and the payments are processed by a third company with headquarters in Azerbaijan. Estonia is an EU-member and Forex trading is dully integrated within the regulatory framework, however, we find no mention of the company on the online registry of the Estonian authorities. However, putting all this aside – the brokerage does provide a web-based trading platform. Through a demo account we got a look at it. Here is a screenshot:
As you can see – the platform is quite disappointing as it lack s the main features which are otherwise present in the MetaTrader 4 platform. We also do not see a spread or a leverage which are crucial in Forex trading. All in all, we always consider the lack of the MetaTrader 4 platform as an disadvantage because it’s the best choice and the preferred choice of more than 80 percent of the traders. The platform provides 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 layout. Through this web-based trading platform we cannot get acquainted with the trading conditions of the brokerage which greatly undercuts our trust in CapitalFMI. As a matter of fact, having in the mind the lack of regulation we are inclined 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.
CapitalFMI deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Going through the terms and conditions of the brokerage we did find quite a few troubling provisions. Here is a screenshot:
The brokerage openly states that it charges withdrawal fees which go as follows: $50 for wire transfers, $35 for credit cards and $25 for e-wallets. A further 10 percent will be charged on accounts that have no executed more than 200 in turnover. These fees separately are not that big of a deal but when they add up they become a serious disadvantage for any potential clients of the brokerage.On top of all this we also read that there is a monthly dormant account fee of 10% for accounts that have been inactive for more than three months. In Forex trading it isn’t unusual for brokerages to charge such a fee but the amount stated by CapitalFMI seems a bit over the top for us. Furthermore, in the terms we come upon the following eerie statement that the brokerage is not “committed to any time-frame” regarding withdrawal requests which is an absurdity no regulated, legitimate brokerage would state in its terms and conditions.
Last but no least – the bonus conditions. Here is a screenshot:
There is a requirement for a minimum trading volume of 25 times the deposit amount in order to withdraw from an account that has taken advantage of the bonus promotion. We urge readers to take notice that almost always a bonus promotion, especially with unregulated brokerages, is tied with extreme trading requirement conditions which make it almost impossible to withdraw your money.
Many scammers choose not to disclose such information to would-be clients. Without proper information on the website we cannot be certain whether clients won’t be charged with any unexpected withdrawal or deposit fees once they invest. 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 DaxRobot or CryptoContracts 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 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!