Beware! 21stOptions 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.
21stOptions advertises tight spreads with over 80 major, minor and exotic currency pairs, 300 stocks, crypto coins like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum and Ripple,15 indices, and various commodities, including gold, silver, oil and natural gas. All of that with three account types and a proprietary web based platform.
And the broker says to be licensed and authorized by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) in Luxembourg and to have offices not only in Europe, but also in El Paso, Texas.
As nice as all of this may sound, it turned out the regulatory authorities in Luxembourg have issued a recent warning against 21stOptions, so if you are considering depositing your funds with them better read our review.
21stOptions regulation & safety of funds
From their presentation we understand that 21stOptions is owned and operated by 21stOptions Ltd, a company based in Luxembourg and supposedly licensed and authorized by the local Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF).
Unfortunately this turned out not to be true. Not only 21stOptions Ltd is not to be found in the registers of the Commission, but also CSSF has blacklisted 21stOptions as a potential scam broker.
And because proper regulation is of key importance for the security of your funds, our best advise here is to avoid not only obvious scam websites like 21stOptions, but also unregulated brokers in general, because they are simply unaccountable for the way they handle your money.
Properly regulated brokers on the other hand can be trusted. Most international brokers operating on the European market for example are regulated either by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, or by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
21stOptions deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
On its home page 21stOptions displays the logos of VISA, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill and Sofort. When we completed our registration and proceeded to make a payment, however, it turned out 21stOptions accepts only crypto coins – a payment method that is more or less anonymous and definitely irreversible. Unlike payments with VISA and MasterCard, if you have payed with bitcoins you can not file for a charge back, when you realize you have been scammed.
Also from their Terms and Conditions we understand that 21stOptions reserves the right to impose withdrawal limits on your account any time they feel like to – something that no legit broker will ever do.
As for their minimum deposit requirement the 250 USD they ask for with their Starter Account are in line with the industry average.
How does the scam work?
Scammers run elaborate networks of call centers and websites, that are especially designed to trap gullible investors. For example if you happen to come across one of the so called robo scam websites like Bitcoin Revival and Bitcoin Profit, you might be easily persuaded to register by leaving your e-mail and phone. Usually that happens after you watch some rather convincing video telling you how easily you can get filthy rich, if you only join some innovative trading platform, that will generate profits for you while you sit back and watch.
And after you register, without even noticing you will be transferred to the web page of some unregulated scam broker, where finally you will be asked to deposit about 250 USD. Besides, do not be carried away by the success of your first trades, because your account will simply be manipulated. This is just part of the scam, as scammers will definitely want you to deposit a much larger amount.
And by that time you will be getting lots of phone calls as well – it will be your “senior account manager” who basically will be telling you – look, if you really want to make some real cash, you definitely need to deposit at least 10 000 USD.
And as strange as it may sound, but at that stage most people do invest as much as they can, without realizing they have been scammed until the very moment they decide to withdraw some of their funds. Than all of a sudden, it turns out they are “not eligible” to withdraw, because of some minimum trade volume requirement, possibly linked to their trading bonus. The excuse of course might be different but the end result will always be the same – scammers will not pay a single dollar back.
What to do if scammed?
If you have payed with VISA or MasterCard, you still have a chance to see your deposit back. The good news is that both credit card companies now accept charge back requests within 540 days, especially when it comes to online scam.
Be aware as well that scammers might steal money directly from your bank account, in case you have told them your credit card number, or online banking password or security code. In such a case immediately block your credit card and change the password.
And one final note. In case you are approached by the so called recovery agencies do not trust them. They will not recover your funds, but simply will make you pay some fees in advance, basically scamming you a second time.