Beware! Janus Markets 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.
Janus Markets offers trading in Forex, Commodities, Indices, Equities and Cryptocurrencies, and advertises tight spreads. After completing a simple 2-step registration process, asking for your names, address, email address, phone number and allowing you to choose account currency from 3 available options – GBP, EUR or USD – we received a confirmation email which contained the account number and password in plain sight, which is not in line with privacy and safety requirements. The message also stated, “If you didn’t upload identification id papers yet, you will not be able to withdraw or get the opening bonus deposit until you do so.” but there was no information about any bonuses on their website or during registration.
Janus Markets regulation & safety of funds
Janus Markets is the brand name of Market Financials Limited, a company registered in the Seychelles, authorised and regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA). The Seychelles is an offshore zone and as such offers more lenient licensing conditions compared to established locations.
Furthermore, minimum capital requirements in this offshore zone are currently set at $50,000, while brokerages based in the UK or Cyprus have to hold a minimum of €730 000, Australian brokers need AUD 1 00 000, and in the US it is $20 million.
The brokerage’s website announces Segregated Client Accounts – “Client’s funds are always kept in segregated bank accounts, ensuring that they are separated from the company’s activities for increased security” which is a security feature imposed by established financial regulators, such as FCA in the UK and CySEC in the EU. The Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA), on the other hand, states on its website “FSA does not supervise or regulate the foreign exchange market”, so the broker’s claim seems unfounded.
As a liquidity provider (LP) Janus Markets lists an investment firm called Eveliktos Fund. This fund is registered in the Cayman Islands, which is another offshore zone, thus also raising alarms.
The Client Agreement makes a couple more provisions. First , if a trader has not deposited funds into his Account and/or has not logged into his Account for a period of at least 6 months the account becomes inactive. We do not see any fee associated with that as is usually the case with shady brokerages. The other positive thing for this company is the Negative Balance Protection policy, which is a feature of all licensed and regulated brokers – such policy ensures the maximum losses from trading CFDs, including all related costs, are limited to the total funds that are in the account.
Janus Markets TRADING SOFTWARE
Janus Markets supports the MetaTrader 5 (MT5) trading platform as a desktop client and mobile (iOS and Android) applications. MT5 is one of the most functional and powerful trading platforms on the market. It offers a large number of instruments from various asset classes with different settings, all tradable from the same interface and the same trading account. It boasts advanced features such as auto-trading bots, custom indicators and a built-in e-mail service in which it surpasses its predecessor MetaTrader 4.
The brokerage also offers a copy trading platform fully integrated with MetaTrader 5, JM Social targeted at professional traders (Money Managers). Copy or social trading is suitable for investors who lack advanced knowledge of the industry or simply don’t have enough time to trade themselves. It allows such traders to select from available “Managers” depending on their past profitability, risk levels, drawdowns and fees/commissions, and by doing so the managers’ trades are automatically copied to the investors’ accounts. We must warn however, that past performance is no guarantee for continued profits.
Janus Markets Trading Conditions
The EURUSD spread offered on the MT5 trading platform was in the range of 1.5 – 2.5 pips. Although not as high as most scam brokerages, we should note that most established and regulated brokers offer lower spreads – the lower the spread the higher the chances for a trader to make profits.
Offshore brokers enjoy no restrictions on leverage offered and according to its website Janus Markets is able to provide clients with leverage of up to 1:200. In the client area one could request to change the default leverage of 1:100 to up to 1:300, which is even higher than the 1:200 cap promoted on the website. Such high leverage provide huge profit potential, but also presents great risks to the traders because any losses incurred will be multiplied. That’s why EU and the US imposed leverage caps for retail brokers of 1:30 and 1:50 respectively.
Considering the spread of up to 2.5 pips and the high leverage we have enough reasons to be suspicious that the website may be involved in foul play and we always recommend to readers not to risk it and steer clear from such offers.
Janus Markets DEPOSIT/WITHDRAWAL METHODS AND FEES
The website claims that traders can fund their account via bank transfer, credit or debit card and certain cryptocurrencies. In the trading area, however, we see only the credit card logos and 2 available options – Bitcoin Payments and Wire Transfer:
Depositing with bitcoin requires a minimum amount of $50 and the transaction is done via a LetKnow Pay service, which added a $6 surcharge on the $50 deposit. The wire transfer minimum deposit requirement is $250 or 200 (GBP or EUR) and takes 3-5 business days. Popular methods, such as PayPal and other preferred by traders e-wallets, eg. Skrill and Neteller are not supported.
Regarding bonuses the Terms and Conditions stipulate “to be eligible to withdraw your bonus, you must execute a minimum trading volume of $10,000 for every 1 bonus dollar ($1)”:
Such harsh trading volume requirements basically guarantee that the chances of getting your “bonus” are slim to none. Further on, the Bonus Policy continues: “if you request a withdrawal during this period [until you have met trading volume requirements], the full bonus amount, including profits generated from the said bonus, will be forfeited.” As we know, brokers licensed and regulated in Europe or the US do not offer such promotions as they are prohibited by the respective watchdog agencies.
We could not find much information regarding withdrawal fees or charges. The Client Agreement states that “the company may charge a withdrawal fee which rate will be according to the method of withdrawal (i.e. card or wire transfer). More information regarding withdrawal methods and fees can be found on our website under Funding Methods. Although such section is cited several times in the Terms and Conditions we could not find it anywhere. These discrepancies lead us again to suspect involvement in shady practices and we would advise against transacting with this broker!
How does the scam work?
This section is dedicated to showing how the most common scams work. Usually they are pretty simple and straightforward. Through internet ads promising quick and easy profits from forex trading potential traders are induced to enter their personal information, such as email and phone number. Once the users input this information, they will start receiving unsolicited calls from illegitimate broker representative whose job is to persuade them to make the first deposit of about 300 USD, from which they make a fat commission. When this is done, the traders are transferred to senior scammers who are very good talkers and will start working on them to deposit even more money. At this time, if not earlier, most people will start suspecting some fraudulent activity and will want to withdraw their funds.
This however often proves impossible to do as the scammers put all their resources into convincing them that now is not the right time or that such action will lose them a lot of money in “potential profits”. If the users persist, these con-artists will find a number of excuses, usually hidden in the clauses of the accepted agreements, to delay withdrawal requests for as long as possible. The end purpose is to miss the limited time period for filing a chargeback with their bank and thus lose any chance of getting their money back,
What to do when scammed?
If you have deposited with VISA or MasterCard there is still a chance to get you money back since recently both companies extended their chargeback period to 540 days, especially when an online scam is involved.
Scammers will not stop at stealing directly from your bank account if you have provided sufficient details, so if this is the case be sure to change your password or security code right away.
Also beware of being scammed again by so-called “recovery agents”. They will ask you to pay a fee to recover your losses, but after paying them you will never hear from them again.