Beware! Infinitrade is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
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Infinitrade is a Forex brokerage registered in the Marshall Islands. It provides a web-based trading platform with a wide range of trading options. The required minimum deposit is the staggering $2500 which is absurdly large and ten times the industry average. The spread on EUR/USD is quite high at three pips and definitely not in favor for traders.
Infinitrade regulation & safety of funds
The corporate information shown on the website is quite chaotic which is a worrisome sign from the start. We read that the registered address of the company – AE Products Ltd – is in the Marshall islands but the operational address is in Bulgaria. Here is a screenshot:
We remind readers that Bulgaria 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. In fact, there are quite a few licensed Forex brokerages in the country which operate legally. However, we find no mention of a license by the Bulgarian authorities – thus we may safely conclude that the brokerage Infinitrade does not fall under any European regulatory oversight.
As was said above, the corporate information is quite chaotic. Going through the terms and conditions we also read the name of the company but this time only the operational address in Bulgaria is given which is quite odd since on the website it clearly states that the company is registered in the offshore zone. And no wonder since 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 TradesCrypto, irrespective of its legitimacy, does not fall under any regulatory oversight whatsoever because the government of the Marshall Islands does not include Forex trading within its regulatory framework.
Putting that aside, the brokerage does provide a web-based trading platform. Here is a screenshot:
The platform itself is quite clumsy and we always consider the lack of the MetaTrader 4 platform as a big disadvantage. However, we do see the spread which is at three pips. In Forex trading the average spread is considered at about a pip and a half and anything beyond that is usually deemed unfavorable for traders. Infinitrade offers a spread double the industry average and we can safely conclude that clients would be at a disadvantage. Another point that is worth highlighting is the extremely high required minimum deposit of $2500. What this means is that clients are required to risk a small fortune just to get a taste of trading with the brokerage – we consider such an amount to be unacceptable and more to the case, telling of the ill-minded intentions of the broker. All in all, the offshore location of the brokerage and the obvious lack of regulation highly inclines 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. The FCA provides up to 85 000 pounds per person, while CySEC guarantees up to 20 000 euros.
Infinitrade deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Potential clients of the brokerage may deposit or withdraw via the standard Visa and MasterCard, as well as Bitcoin, however, popular, online payment gateways such as Skrill and Neteller are sadly missing.
In the terms and conditions of the brokerage we did find quite a few provisions worth noting. Here is a screenshot:
We read that there is a withdrawal fee of 5 percent for credit cards and $25 for withdrawals via bank transfer. Such fees are a bit higher than the usual, however, not quite as excessive as we have seen with other unregulated brokerages. Furthermore, there is also an inactivity fee, also known as a dormant account fee. All accounts that have been inactive or have had low trading activity will be charged 5 percent per month. It isn’t uncommon in Forex trading that brokers charge such a fee since they force clients to participate in trading, however, Infinitrade has set an excessive charge.
Trading with an unregulated brokerage is quite risky and 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!