Beware! FXDirects 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.
FXDirects opens with a background image of a very intimidating looking android robot, as if it came from some violent video game. The premise is quite ridiculous, and most self respecting brokers would think twice before featuring this type of imagery. But FXDirects is not just any broker right? It’s one of those brokers that is brimming with content, and is without a doubt overwhelming. Many of the texts can easily be simplified, while retaining their original message. So why has FXDirects chosen the arduous path? The review will attempt to answer.
A registration process can say a lot about a broker. This is where a passerby is converted to a users and a potential paying client. Thus the sign up page must posses expertise, something that was obviously overlook by FXDirects. Its registration page is underwhelming at best, and it takes less that 10 seconds to create an account, and even less if you’re a fast typer. The client area opens at a familiar web based trading terminal, with all other client area options located on a vertical navigation bar on the left of the page. It does not look too good.
The EUR/USD spread that we were offered was 3 pips, a cost of trade that will never produce profit for you. However, it will do miracles for the broker. The platform allows for trading with forex pairs, indices, commodities, equities, and futures. However, the platform was not helpful when the leverage is spoken of. So we had to turn to the website for that, and so we found a leverage capped at 1:100. Such a flashy broker left us expectation of a much larger leverage.
The trading area can be translated in English, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, and German, However, the website boasts only English and Chinese. Although insignificant, inconsistencies like these then to pile up with shady brokers such is FXDirects.
FXDIRECT REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
There are a couple of things to clear through, so please bear with us.
The footer is where most of us will focus their attention first. So, Lead Secure LTD is the parent company, and is regulated by the International Financial Market Regulation Center (IFMRC). Immediately, we can say that IFMRC is not an official regulator of any kind, especially of financial institutions. This looks like a source for fake regulations, as created by scammers in order to support their false claims. Lead Secure LTD might not even be a real thing. What ever the case might be, IFMRC is not a financial overseer, and thus FXDirects is not regulated by it.
The Client Agreement gives us, out of nowhere, an alleged Cayman Islands Monetary Authority license. This is the official Cayman Islands watchdog, that requires from all its license brokers a minimum capital of $120 000. The authority has an official database holding all regulated entities. The search engine produced no result for a FXDirects, nor for a Lead Secure LTD.
Basing our conclusion on these two lies, we can safely say that this broker is strictly UNREGULATED, and therefore is a risk to all invested capital in it!
Traders should be trading with risk-free brokers, that hold licensed from renowned and austere agencies, like the FCA or CySec , which have made a name for themselves as some of the top regulators. Readers should be aware that both agencies have adapted very strict rules of conduct, and their licensing framework guarantees safety and security for all clientele. A good example of this is the segregation of accounts which assures that client money and broker money are kept in separate accounts. Furthermore, FCA/CySEC brokers participate in a financial reimbursement scheme that cover traders losses in case the broker becomes insolvent. The FCA provides up to 85 000 pounds per person, while CySEC guarantees up to 20 000 euros.
FXDIRECT TRADING SOFTWARE
We see the return of a popular scammer broker trading software, namely the notorious Sirix Trader.
First time Sirix users will be impressed by this one. We know we were. But then, very soon, we started realizing that it used one of the oldest tricks in the book- to put visuals over quality, which is essentially Sirix’s undoing.
Let’s cover the positive elements first. The web based terminal offers pending orders, one point clicking, chart customization options, copy trading, and even a social capabilities. And that is it.
On the other side we have the crucial fact that we have never encounter a legal broker using the Sirix trader. Upon some pondering, we came to realize that this should not be a surprise, because Sirix does not come with even 5% of what brokers expect a trading platform to be equipped with.
There are also commissions applied to users of the RawEcn and ProEcn accounts, $3/side and $2/side, respectfully. What this means is that, every RawEcn spread increases by 0.6 pips, and every ProEcn spread by 0.4 pips.
FXDIRECT DEPOSIT/WITHDRAWAL METHODS AND FEES
As of writing this review, the depositing section is not available. It seems it’s under construction.
As you can see, users will be able to deposit via Credit/Debit cards. This is blocked to us, probably because we had not verified our account, which is something that we do not recommend doing. As for a minimum deposit, it’s $250 as per the website.
Users can open an account with just two base currencies: EUR and USD. These were offered to us when we opened an account. However, the website will claim to be offering a much bigger choice: USD, GBP, EUR, SGD, JPY, NZD, and CAD. As we mentioned when we spoke of the languages, small discrepancies are a trademark of illegitimate brokers.
The withdrawal section is surprisingly open. Why would deposits be blocked and withdrawal open, is a question that we cannot answer. Users can withdraw only through bank. There are also unclear bank related fees charged by the broker, which can be changes without notifying the user:
Another noteworthy clause reveals that if the client closes an account with a negative balance, he or she must pay back the broker the difference. This is in direct violation of the Negative Balance Protection act issued by ESMA, in essence ensuring that clients will not lose more money than what they have initially deposited.
Furthermore, the legal documents mentions on many occasions fees and charges. We will not include them all here because they are too many to count. Here is but a taste:
This is just another reminder that FXDirects can apply fees for almost anything. So it is our string advice to not deposit here!
And last, but definitely not least, is the indemnification clause, that glues the whole scammer thing together by rendering the broker guilt-free from any damage it has caused its users:
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.