Beware! AnalystQ 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.
AnalystQ offers trading in currency options (or Forex), cryptocurrencies, energy commodities, precious metals and soft commodities. They have a simple sign up form asking for your names, email address and phone number, and a checkbox to “Accept Promotions” which we checked in order to see what kind of Promotions or Bonuses they put forward. The account was immediately created and we received a confirmation email with the username (email address) and password. Sending sensitive information by email is not safe, as it can be intercepted and your password may fall in the wrong hands. This raised an alarm right away.
AnalystQ regulation & safety of funds
According to the Terms and Conditions on their website, AnalystQ is a cryptocurrency trading platform operated by a Company by the same name incorporated in Dominica. Researching Forex trading in this Caribbean island, we found that the Laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica do not provide a regulatory framework and do not regulate Forex brokerage and/or other Forex related services, and thus there are no laws, statutory rules or orders, code of conduct, licensing provisions or consumer/investor protection schemes in place.
We also checked Dominica’s regulatory authority, the Financial Services Unit’s website but did not find AnalystQ’s name among the licensed Dominica-registered financial services providers listed there. Unlike such offshore jurisdictions, established financial hubs have regulatory agencies, for example the FCA in the UK and CySEC, which impose strict rules and guidelines concerning Forex trading. Among these are Minimum Capital Requirements (€730 000) in order to prove their good financial standing, Client Account Segregation (clients’ money is kept separate from the broker’s operating funds) and Compensation Schemes providing additional guarantee to clients’ funds up to a certain amount (85,000 GBP in the UK and 20,000 EUR in the EU).
AnalystQ Trading Software
The brokerage advertises the MetaTrader 5 (MT5) trading platform. MT5 is one of the most powerful and advanced software on the market. It provides an advanced charting package, lots of technical indicators, extensive back-testing environment and a variety of Expert Advisors (EAs). It boasts various features such as additional order types (“Buy Stop Limit” and “Sell Stop Limit”) and a built-in e-mail service in which it surpasses its predecessor MetaTrader 4.
We did not see a download link for the MT5 platform anywhere on the website or in the client area, however. Upon successful registration, we were taken to the client zone that features a proprietary WebTrader, which does not offer the standard Forex pairs, but only cryptocurrencies, indices, commodities and stocks.
AnalystQ Trading Conditions
Offshore brokers do not have to comply to strict regulation and can offer high leverage. This brokerage promotes leverage of 1:300. Although high leverage is not something bad in itself, it involves significant risks. Inexperienced traders should keep in mind that leveraged investments can make you huge profits, but can also incur great losses, often substantially bigger that the initial investment. That is why EU and UK regulations have imposed a leverage cap of 1:30 for non-professional traders, whereas in the USA it is 1:50.
The spread we see in the trading platform for BTCUSD is also quite big – $50, while regulated brokers offer spreads of around 1% or $10. Such a large spread is not beneficial to the trader, but guarantees huge profits to the broker.
AnalystQ Deposit/Withdrawal Methods And Fees
AnalystQ only deposit/withdrawal method is Bitcoin. They say that Deposit / Withdrawal fees apply to these transactions, and that details of these fees are set forth on the Platform as part of the Transaction. That was not the case, however, when we attempted a deposit from the platform – we were only given a BTC deposit address and there was no information about what fees will be incurred:
Going over the different accounts the broker offers we see that they are associated with different minimum deposit amounts. The Standard one requires a minimum funding of BTC equivalent of 500 USD, the next 2 types in the Primary tier – BTC equivalent of 5,000 USD and 25,000 USD, respectively, and the account types of the Professional tier have extremely high minimum deposit requirements – 75,000 USD and 150,000 USD. Established brokers do not usually apply such conditions and even if they do, $500 is a very big amount for a minimum deposit.
Withdrawals can also be made only in Bitcoin and are processed within 3-5 business days. This timeframe is not unusual for regular financial transactions, but considering that Bitcoin transactions are instant, one wonders why the broker needs so much time. Finally, we want to point out one more clause in the Terms and Conditions: “Cancellations: ALL DEPOSITS ARE FINAL, AND MAY NOT BE CANCELLED BY YOU. Transactions over the blockchain are irreversible.” This should be read as a huge warning – yes, Bitcoin transactions are irreversible, and while if you deposit with credit card you may be able to get your money back, here there is no such option. Considering the offshore location of the company and the lack of registration, we believe there is a great probability that one might not even get the basic services advertised by the brokerage.
Further down in the T&Cs we read that the Company charges an Inactivity Fee if any cryptocurrency is deposited in an Account and are not used and/or remain inactive for a period of not less than two (2) calendar months from the date of deposit. This fee will be in the amount of 0.0040 BTC per month which at today’s rate is $36.68. Regulated and licensed brokers will start applying such fee after at least 6 months of inactivity and will usually charge no more than $20.
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 some other untraceable source, 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.