Beware! 5Capital is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
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5Capital is a CFD brokerage based in Bulgaria. It provides а web-based trading platform, not the the MetaTrader 4 platform. Clients are extended a leverage of only 1:2 and have a wide range of currency pairs available. Further trading conditions, however, remain unclear.
5Capital regulation & safety of funds
Reading through the terms and conditions of the brokerage we discern that the website is actually operated by a Bulgarian company with the name Grow Track Media LTD. We remind readers that Bulgaria 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 Bulgarian authorities – thus we may safely conclude that the brokerage 5Capital 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 – there are only a few trading products which we always consider a disadvantage since a wide variety of trading options works only in favor for traders. There are only 8 crypto currency pairs and we could not see a spread on EUR/USD which is most crucial in Forex trading.
Furthermore, while going through the terms and conditions we came upon a disturbing provision that is worth noting in our view. Here is a screenshot:
We read that 5Capital may act as a market maker which deeply troubles us since market makers only profit when the client loses and if 5Capital wishes to manage accounts for clients it would be quite a conflict of interest.
Putting aside all that was outlined – 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.
5Capital deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Even though the brokerage puts up the logos of popular payment methods such as Visa, MasterCard and bank wire, as well as the popular e-wallets QIWI, WebMoney, Neteller, Skrill, in fact clients may deposit or withdraw only via credit cards and bitcoin.
Going through the terms and conditions of the brokerage we did come upon provisions worth noting. Here is a screenshot:
We discern that traders have to complete a trading volume of 1 percent of the deposit amount in order to be eligible for withdrawal without any fees. Otherwise, accounts will be charged 4.5 percent on withdrawals. Such requirements and obstacles in front of withdrawing are typical for unregulated brokerages which should not be trusted. Usually with legitimate brokerage traders won’t have such hurdles in their way and may withdraw in a straightforward manner. 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!