Beware! Bridge Fund 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.
Brokers like Bridge Fund go very deep with their content. They ignore the golden rule of less is more, and throws itself out all the way. Bridge Fund is an offshore firm, which means that all this text and sub-pages encompassed in the website are there to create an illusion of quality. We have seen this type of approach many times before. What concerns us is that the brokers that have utilised a similar attitude where found to be unlicensed. Does Bridge Fund follow in their footsteps? Read the review to find out.
A very familiar registration process page opened to us, basically confirming our suspicions early on. The entire look of the process reminded us of countless illicit brokers’ same procedure. Once we registered, it was revealed that the client dashboard, again so recognisable, is very limited and does not follow at all in the spirit of the website, where the information is overflowing. There we had the choice between two trading platforms. However, as these things tend to play out, only one of these platforms is actually available.There we got a EUR/USD spread of 3 pips, a cost of trade that further implies that there is something illicit going on with Bridge Fund. As per the trading platform, users can trade with forex pairs, commodities, shares, indices, and crypto.
The offered leverage on the website is capped at 1:300, however while we were opening a live trading account we were automatically assigned to a 1:100 leverage, and as far as we’re concerned, there was no way to change that.
The website is available in English, Spanish, and German, yet the client dashboard is open to English, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, and German. This is a big hint that the client area was not made specifically for Bridge Fund, but was taken from other sources.
BRIDGE FUND REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
We have already established that Bridge Fund is a shady firm, so the question remains just how deep the rabbit hole goes? We found two details that concern us.
First is a registration in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the notorious Caribbean island nation. The registration is held by the parent company of Bridge Fund, Stilbe Group LTD. We have countless times said that this country has no financial regulator, which means that all registered brokers within its territory are not owners of a SVG license. Indeed, it is possible for a broker to be registered without being regulated, especially in places like St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The same applies to Bridge Fund, which is definitely not regulated in SVG.
Next, in the Terms and Conditions the firm was able to sneak in a small mention of Estonia, more specifically in a indemnification clause sating that the broker will not be held responsible for its action if Estonian laws change. This is sugarcoating it, but you get the big picture. Note that is does not say that it never says that Bridge Fund is registered in Estonia, nor licensed there. In Estonia the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of the Republic of Estonia (MTR) oversees the financial sector of the country but does not regulate the forex market. This job is done by the Finantsinspektsioon,whose registry of licensed brokers did not produce any results for a Bridge Fund.
We can conclude that Bridge Fund is UNLICENSED, making in a risk to all money invested in it.
BRIDGE FUND TRADING SOFTWARE
As we mentioned, from the two platforms that are offered only the Status WebTrader is available. The other one was the MT4, which is too bad because it would have given Bridge Fund a pro.
We could not access the MT4 for two reasons. The standalone desktop software was owned by a SilverLadeHoldings, a company that we assume is the parent firm of other illegitimate brokers. While the web MT4’s servers were those of a MetaQuotes Demo- these are provided by the Metaquotes website for users to learn how to trade. They are in no way connected to Bridge Fund.
The Status WebTrader is a common alternative terminal used by illegal firms. The main reason for this is that users can easily be tricked into thinking that the webtrader is more than it actually is. The illusion is well contained with crucial tools like pending orders, a live news feed, chart customisation, and price alerts. However, once you look beyond these features, what you are left with is a very limited web-based platform. In no way does it match the sophistication of the MT4.
BRIDGE FUND DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
The following payment details are taken from the payment gateway. The minimum deposit is $250. However, once we tried to continue, the broker gave us the following message:
We believe that this is proof that users are individual contacted to deposit. We have a detailed Scam section after this that explains how this works. Here’s another piece of evidence we found in the Risk Disclosure:
If we are to trust the website, including the legal documents, the user can deposit via Credit and Debit Cards, Wire Transfer, and Skrill (seen in footer).
Withdrawal requests are said to be processed within 5 days, however the client withdrawal area tells us that operators will review a request within 24 hours. Which are we to trust? The minimum withdrawal amount according to the Legal papers is $250 for Wire Transfers, and $100 for all other methods.
Withdrawal fees are diverse: $50 for Bank Transfers, $35 for Credit Cards, $25 for e-payments (we assume Skrill). Next. if an account has not been verified upon withdrawing, or if the trader has not more than 200 in turnover prior to withdrawing, the customer will be levied a 10% fee.
The inactive fee is different in both the T/C and the Deposit/Withdrawal doc. In the T/C it says that it takes 3 months of no detected activity to activate the 10% fee. The Deposit/Withdrawal documents reveals that it takes 6 months for an account to become dormant.The fee remains the same. We don’t advice you to linger and find out.
Bonuses can only be withdrawn if a user completes a volume of 30 times the deposit amount + the issued bonus.
Should users want to file for a chargeback they will be punished by Bridge Fund according to “national legislation”, and can block a user’s account. Read the clause yourself.
Furthermore, the broker has the right to change the Terms and Conditions’ content at any time, without notifying the user.
Next is the rule-bending Non-Deposited Funds Clause, in short prohibiting users from withdrawing any profits made from trading, with some exceptions here and there. How this is dealt with, is out of question…
The Terms and Conditions are very heavy with indemnification clauses, that hold the broker free of any guilt derived from victimised clients. Here are two. The first one holds that all allegations against Bridge Fund will become obsolete after 12 months of their original claim.
With all said, are you still willing to deposit? We completely advice against doing so!
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.