Beware! Mercuryo 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.
Mercuryo is a broker that offers trading in Forex, Stocks, Commodities and Indices. They advertise different types of accounts, including a Trial (Demo) account, varying by the minimum deposit required and the amount of the welcome bonus.
The registration form requires First and Last Name, Email address and Phone number, and confirm we are over 18 years of age, not a US citizen, to agree to be contacted via phone or email, and that we accept their legal provisions. As expected with such shady operations, there was no confirmation email in our mailbox.
Before continuing further, we want to point out that this entity is not associated with mercury.io, a legitimate and licensed crypto wallet operation that also offers a BTC-baсked prepaid card accepted by millions of merchants worldwide. We suspect this brokerage is trying to piggyback on an established company’s name in order mislead and trick users into registering and depositing funds.
Mercuryo regulation & safety of funds
The website’s footer gives us the following information: Mercuryo Invest LTD is an investment company whose activities are regulated and authorized by the UK jurisdiction SIC 66110 (Administration of financial markets) and 66300 (Fund management activities) under certificate number 12332874. The latter number is a link to the Companies House, UK’s registrar of companies, website:
The website claims “10 years experience in the financial market” but as we can see above they were incorporated only last year. Furthermore, we know that the regulatory body governing financial services in the UK is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Searching their records we found only the legitimate company mentioned above, whose name this brokerage has “borrowed.”
The broker also alleges to provide Negative Balance Protection for traders, i.e. the latter may not lose more than the initially invested funds. In the absence of any regulation, however, we cannot be certain this is the case. The FCA and other watchdog agencies, such as the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), impose strict rules to the companies they license – in addition to the one mentioned above there are Minimum Capital Requirements (€730 000) as proof of 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).
Overall, we shall conclude that this brokerage is not regulated and hence there is no guarantee for the safety of any funds invested with them!
Mercuryo Trading Software
Mercuryo offers the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform as a Desktop, Web and Mobile (iOS and Android) applications. MT4 is one of the most advanced trading platforms on the market, featuring an intuitive, user-friendly interface, advanced charting and analysis tools, as well as copy- and auto-trading options. It is used by more than 70% of traders around the world.
The broker also advertises the Status Webtrader, a platform we are not familiar with and could not find much information about in the internet.
Compared to MT4, or its successor MetaTrader 5 (MT5) , this software strikes us as poorly designed and lacking in quality and functionality. The mere fact that we have not yet encountered a legal broker using the Status Webtrader says more than enough about it.
Mercuryo Trading Conditions
Despite the claim of “Spreads as low as 2 pips”, the EURUSD spread we see on the screenshot above is 3 pips. Such a large spread is extremely beneficial to the broker, but not at all to traders. Respectable brokers rarely offer spreads over 2 pips for the most traded EURUSD currency pair.
The website also proposes up to 1:400 leverage. High leverage is not something bad in itself – some regulated markets, such as Australia, do not put limits on it. It can be very risky, especially for inexperienced traders, however – leveraged trading allows for big profits, but may also cause significant losses, often much more than initially invested. That is why, US regulatory authorities impose a leverage cap of 1:50 for non-professional traders, while for brokers licensed in the EU and the UK it is 1:30.
As we mentioned above, different account types offered by the brokerage advertise Welcome Bonuses from 10% to 30%, but on another page we see “Up to 100% bonus on first deposit.” Such discrepancies and overstatements are immediately raising a red flag, since respectable brokers would not engage in such practices. What’s more, regulations in Europe and the US prohibit bonuses and incentives.
Mercuryo Deposit/Withdrawal Methods And Fees
According to the website, deposit methods include Credit/Debit card (VISA or MasterCard), Wire transfer and Skrill. When we attempted to make a deposit from the trading area, however, the latter option was not available.
Minimum deposit amount starts from $50 depending on the account type, and there are no fees associated with them, at least none mentioned in the legal pages.
Withdrawals, however, are accompanied by significant surcharges. There is a $50 withdrawal fee for wire transfers, $25 for credit cards + $10 processing fee, and $25 for ePayments. An additional 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. Typical withdrawal processing time is 2-5 working days.
Legitimate brokers rarely take more than 1 business day to process a withdrawal request and usually cover the wire transfer expenses. Credit card refunds and ePayments are usually free of charge, so the fees Mercuryo is charging are quite high.
There is also a Dormant Account fee, if you did not login and traded from your account within six (6) months, in the amount of 10% per month. Here, the 6-month period is in line with established practices, but respectable brokers usually charge a fixed amount of up to $20-$25.
Last but not least, there is the standard Non-Deposited Funds clause pertaining to agreed or voluntary bonuses and incentives and stipulating that they can only be withdrawn subject to execution of a minimum trading volume of 25 times the deposit amount plus the bonus issued.
Considering the excessive fees above and the lack of regulation by an established licensing authority, we would not advise our readers to have any dealing 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.