Beware! CTX Holdings 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.
CTX Holdings is a forex brokerage that also offers trading in indices, stocks and commodities. They list a number of account types on their website with different conditions, which we shall explore in detail below. The FAQ section claims, “You will receive a welcome e-mail with a verification link. Click on it.” after submitting the registration form, however, nothing like that happened – there was no email in the mailbox whatsoever. Upon supplying the mandatory information, First and Last Name, Email address and Phone number, and clicking Submit, we were immediately taken to the trading area where a warning message was displayed: “Wallets was not found. Create a new wallet and try again.” Overall, the Sign up process invokes a feeling of sloppiness and incompetence that raises alarms regarding the broker’s legitimacy and proficiency.
CTX Holdings regulation & safety of funds
CTX Holdings is owned and operated by Golden Dawn (IT) registered in Hungary, and has offices in London, Cyprus and Dominica, according to their website. Forex brokers operating in Hungary must be licensed by the Hungarian Central Bank (MNB or Magyar Nemzeti Bank), but checking the regulator’s website for CTX Holdings or Golden Dawn returned no results. For diligence purposes, we also checked the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) registers but no such entities were listed there as well. Thus, we believe CTX Holdings to be an unlicensed and unregulated broker and would not advise investing with them.
The brokerage claims to take all possible measures to ensure your utmost security, but in the absence of any regulation and/or licensing governing its activities, one should accept this with reservation. Established regulatory agencies have many rules in place to guarantee the stability of the brokerage, as well as the safety of the traders’ funds. There are minimum capital requirements for the broker to be able to operate, a requirement to keep the clients’ money in a different account from the company’s operational account, negative balance protection ensuring the trader cannot lose more than his investment and compensation schemes that would guarantee the clients’ funds up to a certain amount in case of broker’s insolvency.
CTX Holdings Trading Software
CTX Holdings provides a very basic web-based trading platform that offers trading in the instruments advertised on the website – currency, index, stock, commodity and crypto. It can be translated in multiple languages, but overall it has very limited functionalities and looks quite unprofessional.
They do not offer mobile trading apps or any software preferred by experienced traders, such as the MetaTrader 4 or its successor, MetaTrader 5. These advanced platforms provide a number of useful features, such as top-notch charting with multiple time frames and built-in technical analysis tools, various order types, copy- and auto-trading options. Furthermore, they are highly customizable and allow creation of automated trading strategies, scripts and custom indicators via the proprietary languages MQL4 and MQL5 respectively.
CTX Holdings Trading Conditions
This brokerage promotes very high leverage. For different type of accounts it starts from 1:100 and may go up to 1:1000. The accounts differ also in terms of minimum withdrawal amounts, withdrawal periods, commission, spreads and insurance. Below are two screenshots of these account types:
The high leverage is not something necessarily harmful, but it entails significant risks. Inasmuch as it can bring profits, it can also cause huge damages to an inexperienced trader – one can lose much more than the funds invested. For such reasons, the US regulator puts a cap on leverage for non-professional traders of 1:50, while watchdog agencies in the UK and the EU impose a 1:30 leverage cap.
The spread we see on the trading platform is in the range of 0.8 – 1 pip, which is fine, but the broker will charge a commission of 1.5% for a beginner’s account which reputable brokerages rarely do.
CTX Holdings Deposit/Withdrawal Methods And Fees
The website says you can deposit with credit card, debit card, wire transfer, Carte Bleue or PayPal and the lowest amount of payment by credit card is 100 USD. As we saw in the screenshots above the lowest minimum deposit amount was $250, which is only the first contradiction. In the trading area, the cashier will take you to a bitcoin exchange site meaning you will buy bitcoin with your credit card and then transfer it to your wallet to trade with. In order to buy $250 worth of bitcoin you are charged $7.50 currency conversion fee, but the website’s Fees section claims there is no charge on deposits. What’s more, it turns out CTX Holdings is a bitcoin based broker, meaning you lose all protection that your credit card company offers you for fraudulent charges.
The Wire Transfer option in the trading zone simply advised: “Please contact with site administrator.” which also looks quite unprofessional.
When it comes to Withdrawals, the website FAQ notes that there is a commission of $25 added to each wire transfer. This amount is not very high but many legitimate brokers cover such expenses. Also, the period of 14 business days for withdrawals is pretty lengthy – most regulated brokers will execute a withdrawal request within 24 hours and an international transfer does not take more than 5 business days.
CTX Holdings have included the standard “Non-Deposited Funds” clause too. This would 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, and are of course not available for immediate withdrawal. This is a common practice of scam brokerages to make sure that traders cannot make use of any bonuses offered, making these so-called “bonuses” actually a bait for unsuspecting users.
Due to the inconsistencies and shady practices listed above, we are of the opinion traders should NOT invest with CTX Holdings because in doing that there is a great chance of falling prey to a scam and lose their money!
How does the scam work?
The most common scams are quite simple and straightforward and involve a multi-level scheme that usually goes by the following scenario. Internet users are lured by the numerous ads promising quick and easy fortunes by trading in the Forex world. When they click on such an ad they are redirected to a website tailored to the continuation of these false pledges, which asks them to register with their personal information. This data is then used by the scam brokers who immediately start to work on getting them to make an initial deposit of $200 – $300 by making even greater promises of big profits.
Once the users make their first deposit, the scam brokers get a fat commission on it. Now the senior scammers enter the scene. They are smooth talkers who will not stop at anything to convince traders that they are on their way to become very rich, if only they follow their advice and deposit more money to trade with.
Sooner or later the users will start suspecting something is not right and will want to withdraw their funds. This will not prove very easy, however. The scammer will do everything to delay their requests, by persuading them now is not the right time, asking for additional documents, or referring to specific withdrawal clauses. This is also part of the scam since the con-artists are trying to delay the users from filing for chargeback with their financial institution, and they miss the time frame for such chargeback, traders will lose their money without a chance of getting it back.
What to do if scammed?
If you’re scammed you should immediately file for a chargeback with your credit card provider. Good news is that VISA and MasterCard recently extended the chargeback period to a year and a half in an effort to combat online fraud. If you deposited with bitcoin or bank wire there is not much chance.
If you provided the scammers with any bank account or credit card details, such as security codes or passwords, make sure to cancel the card and talk to your bank. Also, if you are being approached by any “recovery agencies” promising to get your money back for a fee, do not fall for that. This is a piggyback scam, using the vulnerability of recently defrauded people and their hope the fraud may be reversed, and it will not recover your funds. These so-called agents will collect their fee and you will never hear from them again.