Beware! Pipsswap 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.
Pipsswap doesn’t do much in the visuals department to convince us that it’s a broker worth a try. And that is a conclusion reached without considering the trading conditions, payment procedures, and all other important broker elements. When taking the whole package of Pipsswap together, there was no time wasted in reaching a verdict. Read the review to see what it is.
Registering went fast, uncommonly fast. But given the fact that the process was presented in a significantly mild manner, it’s understandable. The client dashboard mirrors the Sign Up process, in that we are very familiar with how both elements look. On many occasions, we have been offered the exact same client dashboard, and on all these occasions the broker was utterly illegal. Clearly Pipsswap has something shady going on for itself.
The user area produced what seemed like two separate trading platforms, of which only one was actually operable through Pipsswap More details on this will be covered in the Trading Software section. For now, let’s focus on the trading terms as shown on the platform. The EUR/USD spread is 0.7 pips, a superb value. However, the website’s Terms and Conditions reveal that the spreads go as low as 1 pips, which leads us to suspect that what Pipsswap offers as a cost of trade does not come from its own liquidity.
The dashboard offers a leverage maxed at 1:300. Users can expect to trade with Forex Pairs, Stocks, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies, and Indices.
The website is available only in English, but the client area can be translated in over a dozen languages: English, Bulgarian, Arabic, Chinese, Czech, German, Spanish, Croatian, French, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Vietnamese, and Greek. This is proof that the client area does not belong to the broker, but is in fact “borrowed”, or otherwise.
PIPSSWAP REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
Pipsswap does not seem to realize the importance of holding a regulation. Aside from a quick mention that the Terms and Conditions abide by the laws of the Marshall Islands, there is nothing to go by.
In fact, the footer of the site give us the following revelation:
The ambiguity with which this was written is not without its reasons. The general message here is that the broker cannot be used if local authorities do not allow its usage. Without mentioning under whose orders Pipsswap operates, we can safely conclude that this firm is UNLICENSED.
And anyway, the Marshall Islands do not have a financial regulator. The country is home to a large number of illegitimate brokerages, many possessing a local registration, which is very different from a holding verified license. So Pipsswap might be registered there, but it definitely is not regulated there!
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 GBP per person, while CySEC guarantees up to 20 000 EUR.
PIPSSWAP TRADING SOFTWARE
The dashboard reveals two trading softwares. An MT4 and a web-trader. Let’s get one thing out of the way. The MT4 offered here is a lie. When we tried downloading it, an .exe file under the “tradingtechnologies” name popped up. This name has nothing to do with Pipsswap. So, Pipsswap does not offer the Metatrader 4.
What it has is a Pipsswap web-based terminal, that is actually a collection of charts from TradingView, a third party chart provider.
However, the charts and the actual spreads seen on the assets tabs on the left do not correlate. This is unacceptable, and the confusion that this can create is indicative of Pipsswap’s scammer intentions.
So if the charts do not belong to the web trader, there is very little that this platform offers its users.
PIPSSWAP DEPOSIT/WITHDRAWAL METHODS AND FEES
As per the payment area, users can deposit only through TinkBit, an online cryptocurrency payment system, similar to CoinPop used by Woolwich Capital. TinkBit is located in Estonia, and as such cannot be fully trusted, for Estonia is rather known for shady forex operations. The minimum deposit indicated on the payment terminal is $500.
Whilst opening an account, the broker gave us only three base currencies in which an account can be maintained: EUR, USD, and GBP.
Withdrawals are processed within 5 days according to the T/C, while the withdrawal area claims that the processing take up to 2 days. We are not about to find out which one is true, because in order to do so we must deposit. The same area does not provide info as to the withdrawal gateways. The legal documents keep mentioning bank and card withdrawals, which seem to be the only methods. However, seeing the deposit gateway, we cannot be completely sure that these are the withdrawal methods.
A withdrawal is only accepted if a users has no open trades going on in the platform. Furthermore, the T/C document claims that there are applicable fees for withdrawing.
However, these fees are never revealed.
Inactive accounts are charged by $36 per month. The fee is activated after only one month of a user not making any trades, and lasts until the user restarts his/her activities.
There is a confusing clause stating that a $15 fee might arise when making payments. We leave it for you to decide when it is applicable.
The broker gives itself the right to exchange users’ funds into a different currency, in order to cover some unclear costs. Without a user’s permission, the broker should never be able to access such funds!
There are two occasions where the broker gives completely different bonus withdrawal information. The first clause requires a user to execute a trading volume of $20 000 for every bonus dollar granted.
The next clause turns things around, and requires a $500 000 trading volume for every $50 of granted bonus. Which one of these is applicable? We advice you no not seek out the answer to this question.
There are a plethora of clauses that allow for the broker to basically take over a user’s account, while also applying a number of different fees! For example, an account can be closed without notice should a user declare for a chargeback. Pipsswap can even put together users’ accounts, while cancelling their funds, and withholding their assets, among other illegal things.
Finally, to tie all these together, is the indemnification clause. This absolves the broker of all accountability for a client’s misfortunes, caused by the broker. This is Pipsswap’s get out of jail free card.
How does the scam work?
The most common type of scamming is in fact a very simple scheme that involves multiple level of commitment from both the victim and the fraudulent broker. In the following section we will dive into the individual elements that make up this scenario.
Users of the net will be lured or intrigued by the countless ads that float around the internet, mostly on popular websites such as social media hubs. These ads promise fast money, and are accompanied either by images of luxury or made up testimonials. Clicking on them redirects users to a so called robo-scam website such as Profit Revolution or Bitcoin Revival, where a simple registration process will require from you a telephone number and email address. We assure traders, that once these details have been shared, they will shortly get a call from the broker or brokers, on whose ad you just “stumbled”; this is when the game begins. The voice on the other end of the line will urge you to deposit in their broker some $250 (approximately), by reassuring you of the possibilities of profit, and the like.
Should you deposit, the initial scammer has just earned a hefty commission from this deposit. Now it’s time for the senior scammer to talk you into depositing more, by claiming that the only way to increase profits is to deposit more and larger sums. These second level frauds are great talkers, charismatic and influential, twisting their lies to sound like the absolute truth.
At some point or another, the trader will inevitably start suspecting something, and will want to withdrawal his/her funds. At this point, the con artists will delay the withdrawal process by persuading you to wait, or by referring to their legal documents that cover specific withdrawal clauses- excuses vary from broker to broker. This delaying process is crucial to them, for trader have a limited time to file for a chargeback with their respective bank. Once the chargeback time frame runs out, traders will have lost their money for ever.
What to do if scammed?
VISA and MasterCard users will be happy to know that have extended their charge back request period to 540 days for when online scams occur. In case a chargeback is unavailable for some reason, the next immediate route is to cancel your credit card ASAP.
Those of you who deposited using VISA and MasterCard will 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.
If any bank details have been shared, like banking pass or security code, traders should be aware that scammer will most certainly attempt to drain your account. In such a case, immediately block the account or change the password.
We also urge users to be very careful with the so called “recovery agents” that promise to recover lost money from unlicensed broker. They charge a fee for their alleged services, and will unquestionably not recover any previous deposit, basically scamming you a second time.