Beware! BigLiquidity 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.
BigLiquidty is, above all, bold. It makes claims of reliability, security, profitability and many others. The website is clean and uses minimal colors to convey a maximal effect. That desired effect is to make the broker appear trustworthy. Even the required minimum to open an account is too bold, $5000. This is absolutely ridiculous.
It claims to be regulated by the internationally respected Cyprus Securities and Exchange commission, CySEC, the seat of EU’s forex regulations. The opposite holds true, with the regulator actually having issued a warning against the broker on the 12th of August.
BigLiquidity regulation and safety of funds
As stated above, the broker claims to be operating under the regulation of CySEC, an internationally respected regulatory agency. This respect is well-earned, with the may policies the commission has enacted to regulate Forex trade and prevent, to some extent the damages suffered by the inherently volatile market. For example, brokers operating under it have to have a minimum capital requirement of 730 000 euro. This is done to prevent a certain type of firm from being established – one that sets up shop very quickly with limited capital and then declares bankruptcy, disappearing along with the invested money. Another protection CySEC employs is the segregation of client’s funds. On the other hand brokers regulated by it are required to undergo constant and rigorous supervision and to report their activities to the agency. They must also participate in a fund, which, upon the declaration of bankruptcy returns some of the lost capital to brokers – up to 20 000 euro for each.
All these facts would be quite the compelling reason to invest with BigLiquidity, but unfortunately it is our belief the claim to be licensed under CySEC is a lie.
First off, they offer leverages of up to 1:500 – something that is impossible under EU regulation that mandates leverages for currencies can only go as high as 1:30 for retail clients and 1:50 for professional clients. This is ten times more than the regulator allows.
Secondly, searching for the name of the company on CySEC’s registry yielded no results.
So where is the broker actually registered? Well, there is a page with contact information which holds a Cyprus address and, curiously enough, a phone number starting with +44. This is the UK’s code. The broker couldn’t be regulated by the British Financial Conduct Authority because they have similar restrictions to their continental counterpart, and in fact, it makes no such claim. There is a possibility that the company operates on both locations and is licensed somewhere else, but there is also a much more likely possibility on either the phone being fake or the address being randomly chosen. Of course there is a third probability of both of them not being actual ways to contact the company.
The mystery of BigLiquidity’s registration could only be solved when we saw the following line of text on their home page:
Of course a quick check with the Mauritius’ Financial Services Commission shows us that, once again, the company is unlicensed.
Regardless, we still believe that BigLiquidity is actually operated from there, or a similar offshore haven. Why else lie about being licensed by the CySEC? Why have an address in Cyprus and a British phone number?
BigLiquidity trading software
BigLiquidity offers its customers a web-based trading platform. This is not inherently wrong, with a lot of its peers developing their own such platforms. However, the majority of brokers use the Metatrader 4 or Metatrader 5 platforms. They are the industry standard with their easy to use charting tools, reference charts to name one such tool. They also host a robust community built around “trading advisors” – essentially bots that trade automatically based on an algorithm. The community develops and tests these bots, selling the best and most profitable ones to traders. In comparison, web-based platforms usually lack some of these features. However, BigLiquidity’s platform stands out with the fact that it lacks most of them.
What we can see on this screenshot is a really uninspired interface. The colors are dull and grayish, making the platform rather difficult to make out. There are some basic functions, like stopping loss and automatically taking profit, at least, and other than that there are several equally basic graphical functions like changing the chart layout and basic tools to draw trend lines.
There is no way to open a demo account and upon further inspection the minimum deposit seems to have shrunk significantly from $5000 to a mere $150.
BigLiquidity deposit/withdrawal methods and fees
Depositing money with BigLiquidity can be done using Bitcoin and only Bitcoin. This is suspicious, because by depositing with Bitcoin you don’t have any recourse in the case you want to file a chargeback, like with a Mastercard or Visa credit card.
It is also a contradiction of the Refund policy, which would seem to imply that the company actually accepts cards in this clause:
What is alarming here is the 15 day requirement for withdrawals. There is no good reason for it to be in place. Additionally, the vague description of “checking for the legality” of documents can be used as an excuse to delay withdrawal indefinitely.
Withdrawing money from BigLiquidity in general is something we expect can be rather difficult. There is a clause in their policies that says:
Trade volumes are something a lot of brokers of questionable trust impose upon their customers. These volumes often are impossibly high to fulfill in an impossibly short amount of time. Here however, it is specified that the amount of the trade volume is entirely up to the company. This means that whether you can get your profits is entirely up to the company as well.
There is an additional fee imposed on accounts which haven’t been used in the past three months as per this clause:
While it is not unusual for brokers to charge such fees, we believe that they should be more clearly defined than they are under such a clause.
How does the scam work?
Unfortunately there are a lot of people out to get you in the world of Forex trade and you must exercise caution when choosing the broker to trust with your money. Otherwise you can fall prey to a scam like the one we will outline now. It is a really common and simple to execute one and it starts when you see an ad on a social media platform, say Youtube or Instagram for example. These ads will have a rags to riches story or promise some arcane way to manipulate markets to your whim. If you foolishly decide to follow these ads you will eventually be taken to a broker similar to Bigliquidity. They will promise you the world and once you decide to open an account and give your phone number and email to them you will start getting calls and mails that want one thing of you – to deposit money with the broker. Once you do that they will let you trade briefly, but usually your account will soon run out of capital. This is because such brokers make their profits from your deposits and your deposits alone.
What to do when scammed?
In the case of BigLiquidity there is not much you can do if you get scammed. If they actually allowed payments with credit card, or a reputable e-wallet like Paypall, you would be able to file a chargeback, but since they don’t you won’t be able to do so. Paying with Bitcoin means your money is forfeit.
You must also beware of further scams. The final stage of the scam also often involves the scammers giving your information away to another scammer cell, which will then present itself as a “recovery agency”. These “agencies” will promise to return your losses, but demand a fee for doing so. Once you pay that fee they will suddenly disappear forever.