Beware! LotsFX 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.
LotsFX presents itself as a forex and CFD broker regulated in the UK and South Africa, and offering five account types with a leverage as high as 1:500, and a choice between a proprietary web based platform and the MteaTrader4.
Unfortunately the information regarding LotsFX regulatory status turned out to be false, so if you are thinking about depositing your funds with them be sure to read the following paragraphs.
LotsFX regulation & safety of funds
LotsFX is supposedly owned and operated by “Euro Investement House Ltd.”, which the broker says to be authorized and regulated both in the UK and in South Africa by the local Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). On top of that from the presentation we also learn that “Euro Investement House Ltd.” and LotsFX are subsidiaries of “LOTSFX Group”, which is said to be traded on the London Stock Exchange and to be a part of the FTSE 250 Index.
We checked that information and it turned out that non of it is true. All companies offering financial services in the UK should be licensed and authorized by the local Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We diligently checked the FCA registers and we found no trace of “Euro Investement House Ltd.” or LotsFX there. The result was the same, when we checked the registers of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority in South Africa. And we even made the effort to check, if there is a company called “LOTSFX Group” in the FTSE 250 Index – guess what, no such company was in the list.
So basically what we are dealing here is a virtually anonymous website, which deliberately tries to mislead traders that they are a legit, regulated, UK based broker. That means LotsFX is operated by scammers.
Trading with properly regulated brokers is of utmost importance for the safety of your funds. And with a legit, FCA regulated broker you will even get the protection of a client compensation fund, which will cover 85 000 GBP of your trading account even in the unlikely case your broker files for bankruptcy.
LotsFX deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
On its web page LotsFX displays the logos of various e-wallets including Neteller, PayPal and Skrill. When we proceeded with our registration however, it turned out the only payment options to be credit cards like VISA and MasterCard and bank wire. This by the way is notable especially since Skrill introduced its new anti scam policy, according which it works only with properly regulated brokers. As we already discussed LotsFX is an anonymous, unregulated website.
And you should be also aware of the trading bonuses offered by LotsFX. The practice of offering trading bonuses is highly controversial and is basically prohibited on all major regulated markets like the European Union, including the UK for example. The problem with all trading bonuses is that they invariably come with some strings attached, as for example a minimum trade volume requirement. And quite too often scammers use this as a pretext to cancel your withdraw requests.
What is worse, LotsFX advises its customers to download and install AnyDesk / Team Viewer. If you install such a program it will provide scammers with direct access to your PC and all your personal banking information, including credit card numbers and online banking passwords. And naturally scammers will attempt to steal money directly from your bank account.
Otherwise the minimum deposit requirement is just 100 USD and this is acceptable if the broker was legit.
How does the scam work?
On your social networks or just somewhere on the internet you may see an ad, by one of the so called robo scam websites like Bitcoin Profit and Brexit Trader – which are especially designed as traps for gullible investors. And if you visit the site you will be greeted by some unrealistic get- rich- fast offer, supposedly with minimal investment risk and guaranteed returns. Than, if you do register and leave your e-mail and phone, instantly you will be transferred to the web page of a unregulated, scam, broker, where you will be offered a trading account with an initial deposit of about 250 USD.
And your first trades with the scam broker will be amazingly successful and pretty soon the money in your account will more than double. That however will be just a part of the scam, as fraudsters will do anything to make you deposit as much as you can, including by manipulating your trading results. And you will be getting phone calls as well – it will be your “senior account manager”, who will basically suggest that if you really want to make some real cash you will definitely have to invest more – like at least 10 000 USD or so.
And chances are that by this time you will invest the kind of money (scammers are extremely convincing, as they operate professional call centers, usually based somewhere in the Philippines or Eastern Europe) without realizing you have been scammed until the very moment you decide to withdraw some of your funds. Than all of a sudden you will be told you are not eligible to withdraw, because of some minimum trade volume requirement, you have not met, possibly linked to your welcoming bonus. The pretext of course might be different, but the end result will always be the same – scammers will not pay you a single penny back.
What to do if scammed?
If you have lost money to scammers, honestly, the options to recover your money will be pretty limited. Still, one viable way to recover your deposit is to file for a charge back with your credit card company. Fortunately both VISA and MasterCard now allow customers to file for a charge back within 540 days of the transaction.
Also, if under any pretext scammers have tricked you to tell them your personal banking details like credit card numbers or your online banking password, or if they have convinced you to install AnyDesk / Team Viewer, immediately block your credit card, delete the program, and change your online banking password.
Finally, if one of the so called recovery agencies approaches you with an offer to recover your money, do not trust them. They will not recover you a single penny, but simply will charge you some fees in advance, basically scamming you a second time.