Beware! ActivBroker is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
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ActivBroker is a CFD brokerage based presumably in the UK. It provides a web-based trading platform, not the MetaTrader 4 trading platform and the required minimum deposit is the industry average of $250. Further trading conditions, however, remain undisclosed.
ActivBroker regulation & safety of funds
The brokerage claims to be owned and operated by an UK-based company ActivBroker Ltd. supposedly under operating in accordance with European Minfid regulations. We remind readers that brokerages operating on the territory of the UK have to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. However, upon running a check through the online registry of the FCA we could not find the company’s name listed among the licensees of the British financial watchdog.
The lack of regulation means that ActivBroker is providing financial services without proper authorization from the relevant authorities and is engaged in illegal activities. Furthermore, we learn that the brokerage is acting as a market maker which may lead to conflict of interest if the brokerage wishes to give trading advise or manage the accounts of clients since market makers are on a profit only when clients lose money. On top of all this, while researching the brokerage we came upon an official warning issued by the Italian CONSOB regarding ActivBroker. This puts tremendous risk on any transactions interested traders may conclude with the brokerage and we deeply recommend they look elsewhere for viable trading options.
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.
ActivBroker trading platform
The brokerage does not provide the MetaTrader 4 trading platform which is something we always consider adverse for potential clients since the MT4 is among the foremost trading terminals in Forex trading at the moment, close to 80 percent of users prefer it. The platform provides an advanced charting package, lots of technical indicators, extensive back-testing environment and a variety of Expert Advisors (EAs). Instead, there is a web-based plattform but there is no available test-drive which isn’t nice surprise since unregulated brokerages rarely offer a demo account. Putting this aside – there is no information regarding the trading conditions on the website of the broker which leaves us pretty much in the dark regarding the most crucial aspect in Forex trading.
ActivBroker deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
We could not discern what the available payment methods are for potential clients of the brokerage. Usually in Forex trading traders may deposit or withdraw via a wide range of payment methods. They include the standard Visa and MasterCard, as well as bank wire and e-wallet such as Skrill, Neteller, WebMoney, Perfect Money.
We did not find any stated withdrawal fees, however, the brokerage appears quite shady which leads to consider the possibility that it might nonetheless charge fees. 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!