Beware! Prudent International 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.
Prudent International is a broker that offers trading in Forex, commodities, indices and precious metals. The Trading Accounts page on their website actually has only one account option, with a minimum deposit requirement of $2,000.
After successfully registering we received a confirmation email with an activation link. The email also contained the account email and password, however, which is against privacy and security guidelines.
Prudent International regulation & safety of funds
Prudent International claims to be regulated and have a license by Indonesia’s BAPPEBTI (Commodity Futures Trading Supervisory Agency) with Permit Number: 29/BAPPEBTI/SP-PA/10/2016. A couple things we noticed right away that immediately raised a red flag. The first one was that on the Licenses & Regulations page only this legal information was not translated into English; the other was that after first inspection of the site when we found the link to the page in one of the header menus, the link disappeared and we could access the page thanks to it being cached in the browser.
After checking BAPPEBTI’s database the reasons became clear – Prudent International was not in the Agency’s list of regulated entities. What’s more, a search for the specific Permit Number returned results for a completely different company. In light of the above we deem the broker’s claims of funds security and investor protection to be completely unfounded. There was also no legal information whatsoever on the website – as we noted above the Terms & Conditions links were not working.
Recognized regulatory organizations, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), impose strict rules to the companies they license. Among these are Minimum Capital Requirements to guarantee good financial standing, Client Account Segregation (clients’ money is kept separate from the broker’s operating funds), Negative Balance Protection for traders (one may not lose more than the initially invested 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). Due to lack of registration and regulatory oversight we must conclude Prudent International is an anonymous entity and a scam broker and your funds are not safe with them.
Prudent International Trading Software
Prudent International offers the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform as a Desktop application, as well as Mobile apps (iOS and Android). MT4 is one of the most powerful and popular online trading platforms in the Forex industry. It features an intuitive, user-friendly interface, advanced charting and analysis tools, as well as copy- and auto-trading options.
The trading area looked decent enough. It contained links to download the MT4 platform, including one for Linux, as well as information about the account and interface to deposit and withdraw funds via different methods which we will discuss below.
Prudent International advertises “Tight Spreads from as low as 1.5 pips (EUR/USD)” on their home page. In the Accounts page, however, as we saw earlier on the screenshot, the spread for the same currency pair was 2 pips. When we downloaded the MT4 trading platform and opened a Demo account the spread was also 2 pips. Although that is not very high, most regulated brokers offer spreads of 1 – 1.5 pips for this most traded currency pair.
Also in the Accounts page there is leverage of 1:200 quoted. Leverage trading presents a lot of risks – it can make you big profits, but this 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.
Prudent International Deposit/Withdrawal Methods And Fees
There is not much information about what payment methods can be used for deposits or withdrawals on the broker’s website. What makes a bad impression from the start is the extremely high minimum deposit requirement – $2,000. Regulated brokers rarely have a minimum amount for deposits and if they do, it is in the range of $50 – $100. Such large sum should immediately raise a red flag with potential investors.
In the trading area we see 3 methods listed – Bank Transfer, Virtual Money and Crypto Transfer. The second option, however, stated simply “Comming soon”, so it turns out you can use either Bank or Wire transfer or cryptocurrency to deposit with the broker. Unlike credit card transactions, where you can file for a chargeback with your financial institution, crypto is completely anonymous and untraceable, which makes it a preferred method of scam brokers. There is no way to get it back in case of fraud, so we would not advise risking it.
Licensed brokers almost always have credit card option for deposit / withdrawal. Other popular payment methods, such as PayPal and preferred by traders e-wallets, eg. Skrill and Neteller are also not available with Prudent International.
Since there was no Terms and Conditions, or any other legal information about the broker, we have no idea what fees they charge, or what the financial transactions’ processing times might be.
Overall, the impression we get from Prudent International due to misleading statements and the lack of regulation by an established licensing authority is one of shady practices, and would advise traders not to invest with Prudent International because in doing that there is a great chance of falling prey to a scam and lose their money!
How does the scam work?
Here we will outline the most common scamming scenario. The first step is to capture the users’ attention with ads promising fast money. When they click on such an ad, they are redirected to a website that would ask to provide email address and phone number. This personal information is then used by the scam brokers who will start calling and asking to invest with them. The initial deposit is usually around $250 from which these brokers will make a fat commission.
After that, users are transferred to senior brokers. These are expert con-artists who will sweet-talk them into putting even more money. When the traders decide to get out, however, it turns out it is not that simple. The scammers will talk them into postponing their withdrawals or will draw out various reasons to deny the request. All of this is with the objective to miss the limited time period for filing a chargeback with their bank and get their money back.
We should note that VISA and MasterCard have recently taken measures to combat online scams and are classifying all forex transactions as high risk. Furthermore, they have increased the period for filing a chargeback from 6 months to 540 days.
What to do when scammed?
In the event you become a victim of such a scam there are some things you should know. If you used a major credit card to fund the account you should immediately file for a chargeback with your bank or credit card provider. In case you supplied sensitive financial information to the scammers, such as account details and passwords, you should cancel your credit card or change your pass.
If you used bitcoin or bank wire, however, chances of recovering your funds are slim. Do not get hooked by any “recovery agents”, who prey on scam victims, using their hopes of retrieving their money. These are just another type of scammers who will ask you for an upfront fee in order to get your money back, but once you pay them, you will not hear from them again.