Beware! SmartOptionFX 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.
SmartOptionFX is a binary options broker offering five account types on a web based trading platform, with payout of up to 81%, which in our opinion is not attractive enough.
That however is not our main issue with the broker, but the fact that it is not regulated. Be sure to read this review before depositing any funds with SmartOptionFX.
SmartOptionFX regulation & safety of funds
SmartOptionFX sports a Miami address on its home page, but says to be regulated by he Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
When we checked the registers of the commission, however it turned out that the company behind the broker – B.O. TradeFinancials, is no longer licensed and authorized by CySEC.
And what is worse it turns out SmartOptionFX is even blacklisted by the regulator. See for yourself:
In any case the sale of binary options was banned across Europe in the beginning of July 2018, which coincides with the deregulation of B.O. TradeFinancials. So basically here we are dealing with a unregulated broker with pretty limited credibility.
SmartOptionFX deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
SmartOptionFX says to accept payments with cards like VISA and MasterCard and bitcoins. E-wallets like Neteller and Skrill are not accepted on the other hand, and that is yet another reason to question the legitimacy of the broker. Since last year Skrill requires all brokers that use its services to show a legit license. As we already discussed SmartOptionFX does not have a license at all.
Also beware of the welcoming bonuses that SmartOptionFX offers with their different accounts. As attractive as such bonuses might seem, they always come with some additional withdraw conditions – in this case you will be required to trade the bonus plus your deposit at least 30 times before you will be allowed to request a withdraw. The practice of offering trading bonuses is highly controversial in general as too often it is used by scammers as a pretext to refuse any withdrawals.
And besides the minimum deposit requirement of 500 USD that SmartOptionFX asks for is way above the usual amounts most brokers require with their standard accounts.
How does the scam work?
If you happen to come across one of the so called robo scam website like Bitcoin Profit and Brexit Trader, you will be greeted by a well shot video, telling you a compelling story of how you can get instantly rich by investing just a small sum with some top notch trading platform that will generate guaranteed profits, no strings attached.
And if you get hooked and register by leaving your e-mail and phone, in a second you will be transferred to the web page of a unregulated, offshore scam broker where you will be offered to deposit about 250 USD with a live trading account. Some scammers might even offer to manage your trading account, which is yet another scam technique. Bear in mind that almost all broker act as market makers, and if a market maker offers you to manage your account, it will be in conflict of interest, because market makers make money whenever traders lose.
Most often however, the scammers will just let you trade for a while, but you should not get carried away by how successful your initial trades will be. That is just part of the scam. Scammers will be manipulating your account so that latter you will be more easily convinced to invest a larger amount.
An that is exactly when you will start receiving phone calls as well. It will be “your senior account manager”, who will be trying to convince you, that if you really want to get rich you will have to invest at least 10 000 USD. And at that stage most people do deposit that kind of money, without realizing they are being scammed until the moment they request to withdraw some of their funds. Than all of a sudden it turns out they are not allowed to withdraw, because of some minimum trade volume requirement, they have not met, possibly linked to their welcoming bonus. The excuses might be different, but the end result will always be the same. You will not receive any of your funds back.
What to do if scammed?
File for a charge back with your credit card company. Fortunately both VISA and MasterCard will allow you to do that within 540 days.
And if scammers have tricked you to tell them your credit card number and online banking password, immediately change the password and cancel your credit card. And if by any chance you have been tricked to install Team Viewer as well, delete the program immediately.
And do not rely on the so called recovery agencies. They will not help you, but simply will ask for some money in advance and basically that will be the end of the story.