Beware! LVGrowMarkets 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.
LVGrowMarkets is an offshore Forex brokerage supposedly registered in Vanuatu which gives quite unclear corporate information. It purports to provide a web-based trading platform, not the MT4 trading platform, as well as a generous leverage of up to 1:500.
LVGrowMarkets regulation & safety of funds
Through the information presented on the website we understand that the company behind the brokerage is registered in Vanuatu with the name Arrow Capital ltd.
We remind readers that the VFSC does give financial dealer licenses to Forex brokerages, however, the regulatory oversight and financial mechanisms for compensation cannot compare with renowned European agencies such as FCA or CySEC. Nonetheless, a Vanuatu license is certainly better than nothing. The commission supports a website where you may download a pdf file with a list of all the licensees.
The company does not in fact have a financial dealer license from the Vanuatu authorities and we also point out another worrying aspect of the broker. Nowhere on the website do we find the terms and conditions of Led Trading which is a crucial document in Forex trading. Essentially it outlines the contract between the brokerage and the client and every potential trader should have access to such information.
On top of all this we actually discover that the Austrian Financial Market Authority FINMA have issued an official warning against the brokerage claiming it is illegally targeting traders in the country and that it is further suspected of being involved in scam operations.
All in all, we fear that due to the lack of credible regulation 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.
LVGrowMarkets trading software
As was stated above, the brokerage does not provide the MetaTrader 4 platform which is among the foremost trading terminals in Forex trading at the moment and its lack is something we always view as a disadvantage. Instead, there is a web-based trading platform and we were able to register for a demo account. We always view the availability of a test-drive as an advantage since it is the most transparent way of getting a hold of the trading conditions of the brokerage. Unfortunately, the platform itself looks quite fake but we see a spread of 3 pips on EUR/USD which is quite high and unfavorable. Adding this to the regulatory warning, we are positive that interested traders may find better trading options than LVGrowMarkets.
LVGrowMarkets deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
We did find quite a few troubling provisions in the terms and conditions of the brokerage. First of, it appears that LVGrowMarkets charges a profit clearance fee of 0.5 percent on every trade which is very excessive and significantly drives up the cost of trading. Furthermore, there is a withdrawal fee of 3.5 percent for all payment methods and on top of all this a monthly maintenance fee of 0.5 percent. All these fees are for the sole purpose of siphoning the clients funds once they have made the initial deposit.
Many scammers choose not to disclose such information to would-be clients. Without proper information on the website we cannot be certain whether clients won’t be charged with any unexpected withdrawal or deposit fees once they invest. 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 DaxRobot or CryptoContracts 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 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!