Beware! SolutionsMarkets 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.
SolutionsMarkets is an offshore broker that advertises trading in forex, commodities, shares, indices and cryptocurrencies. They offer 3 types of accounts – Basic, Pro and Expert – differing by minimum deposit requirement, spreads and leverage. We’ll look into these in detail later. One of the first things we noticed when checking their website was the Contact us page:
This fiasco alone should deter any potential investors from entrusting this brokerage with their money!
Registering seemed like a fairly easy process – we had to supply First and Last Name, Email address and Phone number, and confirm we are over 18 years of age, not a USA citizen and that we accept their legal provisions. When we clicked the Register button, however, nothing happened except a small “X” sign appearing under the orange button.
There was no email confirmation or any meaningful message displayed. Checking if maybe the account was created, we tried to login, but the result was the same – a small “X” sign was shown under the Log In button and nothing else changed on the page.
SolutionsMarkets regulation & safety of funds
SolutionsMarkets is owned and operated by Vitoli Enterprise LTD, a company registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), which is an offshore zone preferred for shady brokerage. Trying to find more information on Vitoli Enterprise proved fruitless – we could find anything about such entity. Searching by the website’s name returned more results, as can be expected since it consists of common words, but none of them related to the brokerage.
Similar to other offshore locations, SVG does not regulate Forex trading so we may safely conclude that this broker is not regulated. The Terms and Conditions also do not mention anything about license or regulation, and the brokerage is referred everywhere only as “The Company.” Thus, the suggestion that they provide “Negative Balance Protection” for clients’ accounts seems quite questionable.
Negative Balance Protection, together with Client Account Segregation, Minimum Capital Requirements and Compensation Schemes, are amongst the rules regulation authorities, such as Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) have imposed on brokers they are licensing. In the offshore zones, however, these rules do not apply and there is no supervision over companies engaging in Forex trading.
SolutionsMarkets Trading Software
SolutionsMarkets’ website advertises the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform as a Desktop and a Web application, as well as Mobile apps (iOS and Android). Checking the respective links, however, it turns out that the Web and Android link actually are the same as the link to download the Desktop application. MT4 is one of the most functional and powerful trading platforms on the market. It features an intuitive, user-friendly interface, advanced charting and analysis tools, as well as copy- and auto-trading options, and offers a large number of instruments from various asset classes with different settings, all tradable from the same interface and the same trading account.
The other platform, Status Webtrader, we are not familiar with and we could not explore in person because the registration process failed, so we had to research. Search results were not very helpful in identifying the company that stands behind this platform, who has developed the software, or where it is based. All of these results were of other brokers, similar to SolutionsMarkets and most probably con artists like it, who offer it on their websites. This confirms our suspicions that Status Webtrader is a software mostly used by scam brokers and likely not of very high quality.
SolutionsMarkets Trading Conditions
As we mentioned, there are 3 account types presented on the website. The screenshot below shows a summary of the key trading conditions offered by each:
A spread of 0.6 pips is too good to believe. Even the most reputable brokerages rarely offer spreads of less than 1 pip, and if they do it is usually to traders with established history and large trading volumes. Since we cannot confirm them in a trading platform, we deem the spreads quoted in the table to be untrue and most likely a bait for unsuspecting users.
The leverage of up to 1:200 presents a lot of risks. Leverage trading can make you big profits, but it goes both ways. It can sustain significant losses for the trader too. This is why regulatory authorities in the UK and the EU impose a leverage cap of 1:30 for non-professional traders, while in the US the leverage cap is 1:50.
SolutionsMarkets Deposit/Withdrawal Methods And Fees
On the company’s website we see the logos of VISA, MasterCard, Maestro and Wire Transfer, which suggest that these credit/debit cards, as well as Bank transfers can be used to deposit. Popular methods, such as PayPal and other preferred by traders e-wallets, eg. Skrill and Neteller are not advertised. We should note again that since registration could not be completed, we cannot access the broker’s trading area or platform in order to confirm or refute the claims and suggestions on its website.
On the Deposit And Withdrawal Policy page we find the following statement: “If you did not login and traded from your account within three (3) months, your Account will be subject to a deduction of 10 % each month.” Basically, this is an “inactivity fee,” but respectable brokerages usually start applying it after at least 6 months and it is rarely more than $20.
This section contains some pretty vague statements. For example, “when you deposit or withdraw money for trading purposes using alternative payment methods, you should be aware that additional fees and restrictions may apply”, does not define what the alternative payment methods are, nor does it specify what the additional fees and restrictions may be.
With regards to withdrawals we read the following “Withdrawals are subjected to withdrawals processing and handling fees.” Here again it is unclear how big those fees are. They claim that “The fees schedule is available on SolutionsMarkets” but we could not find it on the website. The typical withdrawal processing time is 2-5 business days, which is not very lengthy but regulated brokers usually execute such requests within 24 hours.
Considering the botched registration process and the ambiguity with which they present important financial conditions, we have enough reasons to be suspicious that the website is involved in foul play and we recommend to readers not to risk it and steer clear from such offers.
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 your money back since recently both companies extended their chargeback period to 540 days, especially when an online scam is involved. If you made your deposit with bitcoin, however, there is not much you can do to recover your funds.
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.