Beware! VowFX is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
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VowFX is a Forex brokerage with unclear corporate information. It supports the MT5 trading platform. However, there is a staggering lack of information on the website and the trading conditions remain undisclosed.
VowFX regulation & safety of funds
As was noted above – the website of the brokerage does not contain clear corporate information. We could not find neither the name of the company, nor the registered address, only a ridiculous claim of regulation from both the Australian and the New Zealand authorities. Needlessly going through the online registry of ASIC and the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority we did not find any mention of the broker brand in question. This is a major red flag and exposes the ill-minded intentions of the brokerage. It’s safe to assume that the real company (whatever it is) behind the brokerage does not fall under any regulatory oversight. Furthermore, we warn clients that anonymity is another serious red flag in trading since the reputation of the company is a crucial factor in creating trust between the brokerage and the traders.
Putting that aside, the probable offshore location of the brokerage, the falsely presented information and the unspecified address highly incline us to suspect that 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.
VowFX trading software
Putting that aside, the brokerage states that it provides the MetaTrader 5 which is something we do highly appreciate. We attempted to register for a demo account and and discovered a surprising range of trading options which include CFDs on currency pairs, indices, metals, commodities and stocks. However, we also saw a spread of just 0.1 pips which is extremely low and impossible to maintain by a brokerage since there is no chance for yielding a profit. Furthermore, there is no info regarding the trading conditions which means that even with a demo account we cannot be sure what the actual spreads offered by the brokerage are. On top of this, this low spread trick is something we have seen quite often in Forex trading and is a common trope of unregulated, shady firms.
VowFX 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.
There is a staggering lack of information on the website of the broker and we find no mention of withdrawal fees, trading commissions. 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!