Beware! HKBFX 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.
What does HKBFX have that other do not. Well judging by our first impression, nothing. Sadly, the more time we spend with HKBFX, the more it turns out that this brokerage firm is a to way ticket; once you try it out, you will not be eager to return. The reasons fro this conclusion will be explored in the following review.
The process of opening an account was very easy, painting a picture that will slowly turn out to be unpleasant. After registering, we were redirected to a client dashboard that actually seemed pretty decent, yet still retained some elements that kept reminding us that HKBFX is not your regular go to broker.
The leverage could be changed to a maximum of 1:200, which is a very common leverage value for offshore brokers. Aside from the leverage, for reason we shall soon see, we cannot give you any proven trading details. So a spread and trading assets are out not disclosed.
The only language made available is English.
HKBFX REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
The broker claims to be integrated into the country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, a nation that is known to harbor some of the most illicit brokers that we have reviewed. There, there is no issuance of FX licenses as of yet by the local SVGFSA, and as such any company can settle there, and if this company is a brokerage type firm, it can easily offer its illicit services to users from all over the world. Thus HKBFX is not regulated in the Caribbean nation.
Furthermore, the Terms and Conditions offer a very clear indicative piece of evidence pointing to the fact that HKBFX is NOT LICENSED, anywhere.
This means that the services of the website are not for anyone whose current jurisdiction does not allow it. This shallow way of putting things is typical for illegal brokers. The broker can also share personal information with its unknown affiliates, business partners that can be literally anyone. Thus your personal info is definitely not safe.
Furthermore, the broker gives itself the right to transfer rights and obligations to third parties, of which we have no idea as to their operations and status.
Traders should be trading with risk-free brokers, that hold licensed from renowned and austere agencies, like the FCA or CySec , which have made a name for themselves as some of the top regulators. Readers should be aware that both agencies have adapted very strict rules of conduct, and their licensing framework guarantees safety and security for all clientele. A good example of this is the segregation of accounts which assures that client money and broker money are kept in separate accounts. Furthermore, FCA/CySEC brokers participate in a financial reimbursement scheme that cover traders losses in case the broker becomes insolvent. The FCA provides up to 85 000 pounds per person, while CySEC guarantees up to 20 000 euros.
HKBFX TRADING SOFTWARE
The user dashboard, as well as the website itself, give clear sign that HKBFX comes with the MT4.
However, when we tried to download the platform for our Windows desktop, the only thing that happened when the download button was pressed was for the dashboaard to refresh. Seeing that there is no MT4 for the browser, we had no real way to access the trading terminal. What’s more, is that there is no actual way of verifying that this broker is in fact an owner of its own MT4 variation.
HKBFX DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
The user area did not help us with the minimum deposit, and so we are left with the website with this info, according to which the minimum required fund to deposit in order to open an account is $10 for the Mini Account.
The depositing methods were wire transfer, Perfect Money, and a bitcoin wallet, of which only the bitcoin and Perfect Money methods seem to work. We are not entirely sure, because our account is yet to be verified. However, we do know that deposition in HKBFX will bring you financial loss.
The withdrawal info is quite limited in the legal documents. The client area reveals that the same methods for depositing are used for withdrawing, that the processing times is 24 hours, and that there are no fees. However, there are also numerous occasions where the legal documents mention the presence of fees, but nowhere does the company reveal their exact values.
The withdrawable amount, it seems, cannot be more than the the current account balance.
Even more, we think that the broker can withdrawal funds, as is hinted in the following clause.
Please be aware that HKBFX will take all your bonus related money if your account as been inactive for more than 30 days. There are similar clauses that follow, so please be ware when HKBFX offers you a bonus.
If an account is dormant for more than 100 days or/and have less than $10 in them will be removed by the broker without any possible way of getting them back.
Another proof that HKBFX is up to no good, is the lack of a zero protection fund, as exemplified by the following provision. Users must deposit in order to compensate for their losses, i.e when their account balance goes negative. This is something that no legit broker would allow.
The indemnification clause returns to make sure that HKBFX is not to be held responsible for the losses carried out by its users.
Furthermore, the broker can easily close a user’s account without giving her any reason at all.
All sign point to the conclusion that this company is not to be trusted with your money!
How does the scam work?
The usual scam operates on a multi-level, though very basic model. The users will be tempted to click on an Internet ad promising quick and easy profits. If they do, it will take them to a website that will ask for their personal details, including email address and phone number. Once they submit this information, an avalanche of emails and phone calls will be unleashed. Scammers will promise the world to these potential traders in order to induce them to make an initial deposit between $200 and $300.
These “brokers” will get a fat commission from the deposited sums and will transfer the unsuspecting users to “senior” scammers. The latter are smooth talkers who will try to persuade users to invest more funds, using phrases like “now is the right time” and “the moment is perfect for making hefty profits”. Of course, these are empty words, and traders will soon have doubts whether they have not been played.
When they try to withdraw their money, these doubts will be confirmed: the con-artists will do anything to deny or at least delay their withdrawals. From trying to convince the traders that they are making a big mistake to withdraw funds now because they will lose big profits, to asking for additional documents or citing clauses in the accepted agreements, to transferring you to another department, there is a single objective to delay the users from filing for a chargeback with their financial institution and lose any chances of recovering their money.
What to do when scammed?
Anyone can fall prey to such a scam. In the unfortunate event this happens to you, there are a few things you can do. If you deposited using a credit card you should immediately file for a chargeback. In an effort to combat online fraud VISA and MasterCard have extended the period in which one can file a chargeback to a year and a half, so there is a big chance that you may be able to recover your funds. If however, you used a bank wire or bitcoin to deposit, chances to get your money back are almost none.
We should also warn against “recovery agencies” who prey on victimized traders by claiming they can recover their funds. These scammers will ask you to pay a fee for this service, but will only take your money and do nothing.