Beware! Woolwich Capital is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
RECOMMENDED FOREX BROKERS
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Open trading accounts with at least two brokers.
If there was a way to exemplify mediocrity in the forex industry, we believe Woolwich Capital would take the podium. This broker has nothing going on for itself that puts it above any others. In fact it’s so incredibly average that even if we didn’t have suspicious of it being a scam, we still would not have recommended it to you, based on its overall feel and visuals. There is an obvious lack of a professional approach which is illustrated in the architecture of the website, a design that is just there for the sake of being there. A broker not trying to push the limit, or at least exceed in some aspect is a broker that should not be invested in. Are we rushing to conclusion about Woolwich Capital, or is there something about this one that we are missing? Read on to find out.
Opening an account was a piece of cake; we expected as much, to be honest. What we got after, was a somewhat confusing user dashboard that blended in with the preexisting navigation bar. This is not a big deal, but it still a nuisance because it’s annoying, and at some point can be off putting. The good news is that we got a functioning web-based trading software… or so it seemed. Upon closer look we exposed the trading software for what it really is, as you will read on the following Software section of the website.
Nevertheless, the EUR/USD spread of 0.9 pips is a fantastic inclusion, yet the issue with the platform puts a question mark on the whole thing: does this spread actually apply to Woolwich Capital, or is this just bait? The platform gives us Forex Pairs, Commodities, Indices, Crypto, and Stocks. Overall a strong list of trading assets, with all major categories being covered. As for the leverage value, for some reason Woolwich Capital has not included a value.
The website cannot be translated from its original English version. This is never a good sign. How are you to to attract foreign users if you offer your services to English speaker only, considering the fact that forex trading is a global endeavor.
WOOLWICH CAPITAL REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
Here is where things start falling apart. All previous notions of hope for Woolwich Capital slowly dissipate, to be replaced by disappointment.
Woolwich Capital is one of those companies that thinks it can get away with providing shady forex services. It has not even tried to deceive users by giving some false licensing info. No! Woolwich Capital has taken the alternative route, the one ignoring any crucial element, relying instead on users’ ignorance or lack of interest.
In other words, Woolwich Capital has no regulatory information anywhere on the website! It does not mention any watchdog, nor does it disclose any similar info. The closest it gets to suggesting a regulatory environment is found in the in About Us page, where it mentions that it mainly serves customers from Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the European Union.
These territories are the most tightly regulated in the world, with only the United States missing to fully complete the list. We needn’t have to check with the local regulators to conclude that Woolwich Capital is UNLICENSED. All unregulated forex entities are never to be trusted with funds!
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.
WOOLWICH CAPITAL TRADING SOFTWARE
Let’s resume what we started in the introduction of the review. As we said there, we accessed a webtrading platform, which turned out to be something completely different from we we first thought.
Here we have to say that this same trading terminal we have previously, on many occasions, encountered before with illicit brokers only. And this is justifiable, seeing that there is only a couple of useful features, notably the pending order option. But these cannot pull it from the pit of dissatisfaction we feel for it.
However, what truly buries this one is the charts by TradingView, essentially third party charts that anyone can access. Crucially, these charts do not represent any broker liquidity, meaning that Woolwich Capital does no have its own spread values released by them, meaning that it does not actually have trading conditions. What is a broker with no trading terms?
WOOLWICH CAPITAL DEPOSIT/WITHDRAWAL METHODS AND FEES
According to the user payment area users can deposit via Coinipop, a sort of crypto payment service that is located in Estonia, giving it an air of shadiness, since this European country is not well known for its financial and crypto regulations. There is no real minimum deposit amount. Note that crypto deposits are unsafe, especially with unregulated brokers, because these payments are untraceable, leading to god knows what and where.
Users can open an account in USD, GBP, EUR, and AUD.
The very limited withdrawal section reveals Bank Transfers, Credit Cards, and Crypto as withdrawal options. Personally, we do not trust Woolwich Capital with withdrawals. There is no mention of fees or processing times.
Overall, a very scam-like payment area.
Furthermore, it is revealed that many of the crucial payment conditions are only specified in writing when a client opens an account. This is completely ridiculous. All payment details should be made clear from the get-go.
The Terms and Conditions expose contradictory dormant account details. The first one discloses that inactivity charges are 2% per month, with a minimum of $250. This clause does not specify how long it take for a user to become inactive.
The following one is more revealing. Here an inactive user is defined as one who has not had any transactions in the past 12 months. The charge is $50. But here, the clause does not say if the fee is levied each month or if the user is charged only once.
How does the scam work?
Users will be in the middle of a scam without even knowing it, that’s how efficient these scams are. Yet, clients will also be surprised that the most utilized scammer structure is laughably easy to grasp, making it predictable. We have dedicated the following section to the reveal of how the scam works.
The internet is filled with ads, it’s the fuel of the industry, and a big chunk of said advertisements are misleading and some are downright deceitful. The ads concerned with unregulated forex brokers are often very promising, and most of the times utilize completely false claims of immediate profit. Those tempted enough will be redirected to a robo-scam website that further guarantees profits. The only thing that separates the user from the unrealistic promises is a fast registration process that requires a phone number and an email address. After inputting this info unsuspecting users will start getting phone calls from illicit broker representatives, whose one and only job is to initialize the scheme by pushing a trader to make that first deposit of around $250. After that’s done, the senior representatives will be calling. These expert scammers are extremely good talkers, and will start working on you to start putting even more money in. They say that the more money invested, the higher the profit will be. At this point most traders start seeing the big picture, and will want to withdrawal their money and get out fast.
However, the scammers have anticipated this development, and are ready to counter any withdrawal request. Typically they find excuses for delaying the request in the legal documents that hold specific clauses for these purposes. The reasons are many. One thing to remember is that all illicit brokerage firms will deny the withdrawal request for as long as they can, because of the imposed time limit traders have for filling a chargeback. Once the crucial due date is not met, any chargeback requests will be denied.
What to do if scammed?
Those of you who deposited using VISA and MasterCard wil be glad to know that both companies have extended their chargeback time span to 540 days, especially if the reason for it is an online scam.
Scammers will steal directly from a bank account, if the traders has provided crucial details, like banking password or security code. If it get down to this, be sure to either block the account or change the password.
Sometime victimized users will stumble upon the so called recovery agents that promises to magically reclaim all lost investments, for a fee that is. Needless to say, they will not get back any of the lost funds, and will basically scam you a second time.