Beware! Swiss Global Pro is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
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At the very loading of the website we are presented with a huge €1000 startup bonus which should right away ring a bell, since regulatory agencies in the UK and Europe prohibit such promotions.
The other thing we noticed is that there is a UK phone number in the top right corner, but it is cut off after the country code. One has to decrease the size of the page to 80% in order to see the entire number. This is an indication of incompetence that serves as another warning.
Swiss Global Pro is Forex broker that also offers trading in commodities, stocks, indices, cryptocurrencies and ETFs. They advertise several account types depending on the minimum deposit required – from €500 to €100,000, as well as a Demo account.
The registration form asked for the usual personal information – Name, Email address, Phone number, Country, and lets you choose the Account type and currency (EUR or USD). Registration was successful and we were taken to the client area, but there was no confirmation email sent to our mailbox, which is something every self-respecting website does when you register with them.
Swiss Global Pro regulation & safety of funds
The company has offices in the UK and Australia and claims to be a registered Australian company, with Australian Company Number (ACN): 803 102 712. There is a link to a certificate allegedly issued by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), which we decided to put to the test.
To no surprise, we could NOT find the ACN or the name “Swiss Global Pro” in ASIC’s registers. In order to be thorough we also checked in the UK’s regulator website, due to the company’s UK address. Searching the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) database did not return any results too. Thus, we concluded that Swiss Global Pro is not regulated and is trying to deceive potential clients to the contrary using a forged document.
Furthermore, an Internet search revealed that there is a warning against the company by the Italian regulator CONSOB:
Swiss Global Pro Trading Software
The brokerage offers the MetaTrader 5 (MT5) trading platform as a desktop and mobile (iOS and Android) applications. MT5 is one of the most advanced trading software in the world. It offers features such as a great charting package and support for technical analysis indicators and automated trading systems (EAs). It is also highly customizable allowing you to create your own trading strategies using its proprietary MQL5 programming language.
The website advises that in order to download the software you need to “fill out the sign-up form. Once completed you will be prompted to download and install MetaTrader.” There is a link to download and a field to input your password. When we did that however, and clicked the Download button we received an Error message: “Incorrect password. This download requires a valid password”.
Swiss Global Pro Trading Conditions
Since it was not possible to download and install the trading platform, we had to assess the brokerage’s trading conditions by the claims on its website. The standard accounts Swiss Global Pro offers do not mention anything about spreads or leverage:
There is a MAM (Multi-Account Manager) account, however, which advertises “Fixed, Floating & Raw spreads”, and “Leverage of up to 400:1”. This is a very high leverage which entails significant risks. Although it can make you hefty profits, one can incur great losses also. That is why, most regulatory authorities impose leverage caps for non-professional traders: in the USA it is 1:50, while for brokers licensed in the EU and the UK it is 1:30. One notable exception is Australia where there is no leverage cap. Still, ASIC enforces other rules to its licensees: the Minimum Capital Requirement is AUD 1 million, and there is an obligation for Client Account Segregation – clients’ money is to be kept separate from the broker’s operating funds.
Swiss Global Pro Deposit/Withdrawal Methods And Fees
On the website we see that the brokerage accepts Credit and Debit cards (VISA, MasterCard, American Express), Wire transfers and Bitcoin. Other popular payment methods, such as PayPal and preferred by traders e-wallets, eg. Skrill and Neteller are not supported. We did not see any deposit fees mentioned and as noted above the minimum deposit is €500.
It is a standard practice that withdrawals are usually made by the same method you used to fund your account and would require a verification process – proof of ID, proof of residence and verification of the payment method, for example a picture of both sides of your credit card, displaying the last four digits of your credit card only. Legitimate brokers, however, will rarely impose a minimum withdrawal requirement and charge a withdrawal fee.
Swiss Global Pro’s terms are quite unfavourable to the traders in this regard. They charge a fee of 3.5% for credit and debit card refunds and a flat fee of $30, €25, £20 for wire transfers. There is no minimum amount for withdrawals made to credit or debit cards, but for withdrawals by wire transfer the minimum withdrawal amount they require is $100, €100, £80. The Terms and Conditions do not say anything about withdrawal processing times.
There is also Terms and Conditions relating to Bonuses. This section stipulates that in order to make a withdrawal of the Bonuses received by the Client, the Client will be required to have a total Lot trading volume of at least the 10% of the total Bonus amount awarded to him, plus his deposit amount (the “Withdrawal Threshold”). Similar clauses are always added when brokers want to make it hard for their clients to get anything from the incentive and are proof that the bonus is simply a bait.
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 like CryptoEngine.app 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.