Beware! Financial Signal is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
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Financial Signal is a CFD brokerage based in the Czech Republic. It provides а web-based trading platform, not the the MetaTrader 4 platform. Clients are extended a leverage of up to 1:200 and have a wide range of currency pairs available. The spread on EUR/USD, however, is 7 pips which is quite high and the required minimum deposit is twice the industry average.
Financial Signal regulation & safety of funds
Reading through the terms and conditions of the brokerage we discern that the website is actually operated by a Czech company with the name Signal Invention s.r.o. We remind readers that the Czech Republic 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 Czech authorities – thus we may safely conclude that the brokerage Financial Signal does not fall under any regulatory oversight whatsoever. This further means that the broker is providing such financial services without proper authorization and is targeting traders illegally. This puts a lot of risk in trading with Financial Signal.
On top of all this, we learn through the website of the Italian CONSOB which keeps and updates a comprehensive lists of all regulatory warnings from foreign financial watchdogs that the illegal activities of Financial Signal have not gone unnoticed and that the Czech National Bank has blacklisted the brokerage. This is definite red flag in Forex trading and we can safely assume that clients will be exposed to major risk if they choose to do business with Financial Signal.
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.
Financial Signal trading software
The brokerage does offer a test-drive of its web-based trading platform which is always a welcome sight. Here is a screenshot:
Through a demo account we could see a spread on EUR/USD of 7 pips which is excessively high and more than four times the industry average of a pip and a half. Furthermore, the web-based trading platform leaves something to be desired and the required minimum deposit is high as well. The brokerage does not provide the MetaTrader 4 trading platform (only a web-based one) which we always consider a disadvantage since it is the foremost trading terminal at the moment equipped with features such as almost a 100 market indicators, as well as customizable trading robots.
Financial Signals deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Potential clients of the brokerage may deposit or withdraw via the standard Visa, MasterCard and bank wire, as well as Bitcoin. However, we do no see the popular e-wallets such as WebMoney, Neteller, Skrill which saddens us.
Going through the terms and conditions of the brokerage we did come upon provisions worth noting. The brokerage openly states that it does not charge withdrawal fees or trading commissions. However, there are bonus withdrawal conditions which are unfortunately undisclosed. Such a requirement isn’t at all uncommon for unregulated brokerages who only wait for clients fall into the trap.
As was stated – we did not find any stated withdrawal fees, 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!