Beware! AW Financial 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.
AW Financial is a Forex brokerage with unclear corporate information. It provides a web-based trading platform but does not support the MT4 trading platform. The required minimum deposit is absurdly high at $2000 but further trading conditions remain unclear.
AW Financial regulation & safety of funds
As was noted above – the website of the brokerage does not contain clear corporate information. We read that the company behind the brokerage is registered in Australia and licensed by the Australian Securities and Exchange Commission. Here is a screenshot:
The Australian authorities keep and update a rigorous online registry. We were able to run a search on the company number.
As you can see – the corporate information presented on the website seems to be legitimate and there is an Australian licensed company by the name AW Financial Services PTY LTD. However, after further digging we uncovered a disturbing detail. Here is a screenshot:
It appears that AW Financial services is not among the authorized broker brands of the company and the website is simply using the info of the company so as to lend false legitimacy to itself. AS a matter of fact – the website is complete anonymous and most likely involved in scamming. It’s safe to assume that the company behind the brokerage, irrespective of its legitimacy, does not fall under any regulatory oversight. Furthermore, we warn clients that anonymity is a serious red flag in trading since the reputation of the company is a crucial factor in creating trust between the brokerage and the traders. In fact, the probable 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.
AW Financial Services trading software
Putting that aside, the brokerage states that it provides a web-based trading platform. However, the MetaTrader4 is not among the supported terminals which is something we do not highly appreciate. Nonetheless, we weren’t able to register for a demo account which we always view as a huge disadvantage since it is the most secure and verifiable way in getting a hold of the trading conditions of the broker. We are further not given any information regarding the spread and the leverage extended to traders. The required minimum deposit is the absurdly high figure of $2000 and highly unfavorable for potential clients of the brokerage.
AW Financial Services deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Apparently the brokerage supports only cryptos as available payment methods. Usually, in Forex trading potential clients of a brokerage may deposit or withdraw only via the standard Visa and MasterCard, as well as bank wire.
Interestingly enough, we read that there are no withdrawal fees, however, this does not mean that the brokerage might charge some unexpected fees. 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!