Beware! CoinePro 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.
The first thing we noticed after reviewing CoinePro’s website was that there is no mention of who is standing behind this entity and where it is registered and/or licensed. They claim to be “one of Europe’s leading financial institutions specializing in Forex and CFDs trading” but further research on the internet could not substantiate that claim.
Furthermore, we know that EU and UK regulations prohibit bonuses and have imposed a leverage cap of 1:30 for non-professional traders, whereas a casual overview of the website reveals “Welcome Bonus Up to 25% (or 50%)” and leverage up to 1:400.
Such contradictions to imposed EU regulations combined with the absence of any licensing or regulatory authority standing behind this broker should immediately raise flags!
CoinePro advertises a wide range of products, including Forex, cryptocurrency, indices, commodities, shares and metals. It offers three types of accounts, as can be seen on the screenshot above. The registration process is overly simplified and quite unprofessional. It requires only first and last name, country, email address and phone number, then you are immediately taken to a client area, and we did not even receive a confirmation email from them!
The trading area can be translated in English, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian and Chinese. CoinePro offers the Optima trading platform, as well as a proprietary Web Trader platform, an iOS and Android app. We’ll get to these below.
COINEPRO REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
As we mentioned above, there is not a single reference anywhere on CoinePro’s website that the company is registered anywhere. We cannot be certain even of the legal entity in which a trader will enter into an agreement with because the only name the Client Agreement states in the Terms and Conditions is “CoinePro.com”. This is a huge red flag that must tell you that the safety of your funds is not guaranteed if you deposit with them!
The absence of regulations to the broker’s activities poses significant risks to any funds invested with them. With a regulated brokerage authorized by a prestigious regulatory agency, such as the FCA in the UK or CySec in Cyprus, there are a number of strict rules, which prevent clients from falling victims to fraud. One such rule is the segregation of accounts, which assures that client money and broker money are kept in separate accounts. 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. Deposits with FCA regulated brokers are guaranteed up to a limit of £85,000 per person by FSCS, while ICF in Cyprus guarantees up to €20 000.
COINEPRO TRADING SOFTWARE
CoinePro’s website advertises the Optima trading platform AND a proprietary Web Trader platform. After we registered with them, however, and accessed the trading software the “Optima” platform opened in a webtrader.coinepro.com URL which leads us to believe that Optima and Web Trader are one and the same.
The EUR/USD spread offered was only 0.2 pips, which is very advantageous to a trader, but considering this is not an established and well-known trading software, we believe it is too good to be true, and most probably manipulated.
Despite numerous superlatives on their website, such as “leading trading technology provider”, “unique experience and feel”, “state-of-the-art”, the platform does not offer even the basic functionality of a Demo account – a feature present in every recognized and respected provider. We would recommend the MT4 or MT5 platforms, which have web versions, as well as desktop and mobile apps, and offer many built-in tools and analytical features.
COINEPRO DEPOSIT/WITHDRAWAL METHODS AND FEES
CoinePro accepts deposits in USD, EUR or GBP. USD deposits have a minimum amount of $100, whereas the ones in EUR or GBP require at least 250.
The deposit are looks quite incompetent, if not suspicious – in the footer, we have the VISA and MasterCard logos, plus OK Pay and Wire Transfer logos (the latter twice!), but in the body there is a single PayBox link that leads you to a cashier with 2 options, PayCent or Certus. These are both external payment providers whose reliability and legitimacy is not the subject of this article. Our concern here is that this deposit method is not explained anywhere on the website. In addition, popular methods, such as PayPal and other preferred by traders e-wallets, eg. Skrill and Neteller are not supported.
The minimum withdrawal amount on wire transfer is 250 USD/GBP/EUR, while on any other method it is 100. Most legitimate brokers do not require a minimum for withdrawals and if they do it will be $10 at most.
The withdrawal fees, however, are quite high 50 USD/GBP/EUR for wire transfers; 25 USD/GBP/EUR for credit cards plus a processing fee of 10 USD/7 EUR/5 GBP; 25 USD/GBP/EUR for ePayments. Also, a levy of 10% of the withdrawal amount will be charged to any withdrawal from an account that has not executed more than 200 in turnover and/or from accounts that have not been verified. Such fees are not only much higher than average, but many established brokers do not charge anything for withdrawals.
There are a couple more disturbing clauses. First, “Withdrawals are subjected to withdrawals processing and handling fees.” without getting into any details, and second, “when it comes to withdrawals, Client may be required to present additional information and documents.” The way we understand those is that when the traders decide to withdraw their funds they may be unreasonably delayed, and if eventually their request is granted they may be subjected to additional “handling” fees not defined anywhere.
Another stipulation with a whiff of shady practices is: “Funds appearing on Clients’ account may include agreed or voluntary bonuses and incentives, or any other sums not directly deposited by the Client or gained from trading on account of actually deposited funds (“Non-Deposited Funds“). Please note unless otherwise explicitly agreed, Non-Deposited Funds are not available for withdrawal.” This “Non-Deposited Funds“ clause is highly ambiguous and the emphasized phrase may be interpreted that the Client cannot withdraw any profits made during trading.
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:
For all of the above reasons, we would not advise making even the minimum deposit or have any dealings with this broker!
How does the scam work?
Users often fall prey of very simple but quite efficient scams. The first snare is usually an internet ad promising big profits over a short period of time, and all you need to do is provide your personal information, usually email address and phone number. If you do that, you will start getting calls from scam brokers who will continue with the pitches of quick and easy profits until you decide to make a first deposit of $200 to $300. On these funds the scammers get a fat commission and transfer you to senior “brokers”.
These expert con-artists are smooth talkers who start talking you into putting even more money in, because “now is the perfect moment” or “the more money you invest, the higher your profits will be”. Usually about this time most traders will start to feel the scam and will want to withdrawal their money and get out fast.
Unfortunately, the scammers will not give in easily. First, they will try to persuade you not to withdraw right now because you will miss on “big profits”, and if that does not work, they will find numerous reasons to deny or delay your request by asking you for additional documents or claiming that there are some other causes for not executing the withdrawal. The ultimate objective in such procrastination is to make the traders miss the crucial period in which a chargeback request can be filed, and thus lose the chance of getting their money back.
What to do if scammed?
If you used a credit card to make a deposit with the scammers you should immediately file for a chargeback. Both VISA and MasterCard have increased the time in which you can file to 540 days, in part specifically to fight such online scams.
If you used bitcoin or bank wire, however, chances of recovering your funds are slim. You might get approached by so-called “recovery agents”, but don’t fall for their tricks. They will ask for payment up-front to recover your money, but this is just another scam and you will not get anything back.