Beware! Pcmtrades is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
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PcmTrades is a Forex brokerage registered in the Marshall Islands. The required minimum deposit is the standard $250 and there is supposedly a wide range of trading options, however further trading conditions remain undisclosed.
PcmTrades regulation & safety of funds
The corporate information shown on the website is a bit chaotic which is a worrisome sign from the start. We read that the brokerage is supposedly owned a company registered in Bulgaria under the name Orion Service EOOD and it’s payments are processed by another company which is registered in the Marshall Island under the name TLC CONSULTING LTD.
We remind readers that Bulgaria 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. In fact, there are quite a few licensed Forex brokerages in the country which operate legally. However, we find no mention of a license by the Bulgarian authorities – thus we may safely conclude that the brokerage Cobra does not fall under any European regulatory oversight.
As was said above, the corporate information is quite chaotic. This is definitely not the first brokerage we encounter that is supposedly operating out of both Bulgaria and the Marshall Islands. And no wonder since the Marshall Islands has become a top-destination for would-be scammers due to its very liberal laws regarding the registering of companies. The government does not even require for someone to be physically there in order to register a company. Such a loophole has surely been noticed by many ill-minded brokers and utilized. Nonetheless, it’s safe to assume that JPM Invest, irrespective of its legitimacy, does not fall under any regulatory oversight whatsoever because the government of the Marshall Islands does not include Forex trading within its regulatory framework.
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. The FCA provides up to 85 000 pounds per person, while CySEC guarantees up to 20 000 euros.
PcmTrades trading software
The brokerage does not provide the MetaTrader 4 trading platform which we always consider a huge 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. It is also the preferred choice for more than 80 percent of the traders in Forex. Instead, PcmTrades puports to support the a web-based platform and we further highlight the fact that the there are supposedly more than 200 trading products available which is quite neat and a definite advantage for interested traders. However, we were unable to register for a demo account which casts a huge shadow over all of the supposed advantages of the brokerage.
PcmTrades deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Potential clients of the brokerage may deposit or withdraw via the standard Visa and MasterCard, as well as bank wire, however, popular online payment gateways such as Skrill and Neteller are missing.
Going through the terms and conditions of the broker we learn that there is a withdrawal fee of 3.5 percent which is quite excessive and definitely raises the cost of trading with the brokerage. Furthermore, there is a clearance fee of 0.5 percent, as well as an unspecified monthly dormant account fee roughly around $200 after 2 months inactivity. We consider such an amalgam of fees to be a characteristic of shady brokerages whose goal is to siphon the client’s funds once they have been deposited.
There are also withdrawal conditions pertaining to accounts that have taken advantage of the bonus promotion which are extremely vague and unclear but there are always purposefully excessive in order to impede any trader from actually receiving his money. We warn readers no to fall in the trap and not to take advantage of a bonus promotion.
Trading with an unregulated brokerage is quite risky and this is why we always advise traders to 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?
Unfortunately, the possibility of a scam looms over almost every trade in Forex, especially if you are dealing with an unregulated brokerage. That is why we believe traders should be acquainted with the methods of a scam. Here is how it would typically go about:
Through clicking an ad with promises for fast money, you will be redirected to a website such as Bitcoin Evolution or Crypto Cash 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 motive here is quite straightforward – traders have a limited time window for filing a chargeback with their bank and get their money back. The “recovery department” will simply want to mislead you into missing this crucial period and, along the way, losing any chance you might have of getting the money back.
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. Furthermore, due to the high instances of fraud – both Visa and MasterCard have decided to sidestep scammers as best they can in Forex trading. The first thing we have seen so far is that MasterCard has increased the previous time period of six months for filing a chargeback to a year and a half.
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!