Beware! BluePips 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.
Even if we support the saying “by traders for traders”, we still find BluePips rather lackluster in many of the crucial elements that define the forex trading experience. For one, the website doesn’t look the part, and it gave us vibes of something that came out in the middle of the last decade; it does not convey the professionalism that is expected out of a 2020 broker. Second, the trading conditions don’t seem right for a broker that claims to be offering legitimate services. Read on to find out more.
The registration process was an odd one. We could chose over 20 languages into which our account could be translated. After that, the broker required a couple of details from us, and we were done. The firm releases a “congratulations, you have registered” note, and after that we were redirected to the home page, without a message telling us to check our email for a confirmation letter. We went to check our email, just in case, and found no new entry from BluePips. We returned after almost 20 minutes, and there it was. A confirmation mail in our spam folder.
And voila, a user dashboard area that looks as if created for a much older version of Windows. The area was fair and all, but there was no way to access a trading platform of any kind. In fact, the website was the one that gave us a glimpse of the user trading terminal, but for reasons we shall soon discuss, we were unable to use it.
So we must take the trading details from the website. There the Standard and Pro Accounts spread is said to be 1.6 pips, which is not really helpful to traders in terms of making a profit. The leverage is capped at 1:500, the most common offshore brokerage leverage value there is. The trading instruments are ambiguous at best…
The website is only in English. However, as we said, the account opening section allowed us to open an account in well over 20 languages. This disparity in information is typical for offshore brokerages.
BLUEPIPS REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
A small clause in the Terms and Conditions reveals that written objections on the customer’s part will be send over to an address in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Further down the legal provisions, it reads that the broker is governed under the laws of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
This small, yet notorious, Caribbean nation is home to thousands of illicit brokers, for the simple reason that the nation does not have a FX regulator and its easy to incorporate a company there. So, it makes no difference if BluePips is located there; the fact of the matter is that it is not regulated there.
Ans seeing that there is no further mention of a regulation, we are left with the only verdict that BluePips is UNLICENSED, and therefore a risk to all investments!
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.
All money held by the broker as user’s margin or security may be used in a manner of different ways by the broker. Here is substantial evidence that funds deposited may be it risk.
The following clause, we think, gives power to the Money Manager, essentially the broker’s rep, to trade on the user’s behalf. Furthermore, all adjustments made by the Money Manager may or may not be in the customer’s favor.
BLUEPIPS TRADING SOFTWARE
As we mentioned, the user area did not give us a way to open a trading software. However, the website did. The MT4 was ready to download, when we hit another brick wall. In order to log in the MT4, users must create an account; a prospect made impossible by the fact that one must deposit first (to deposit in an unregulated broker is financial suicide).
However, we can confirm that the MT4 is available. This is a much needed push for BluePips, however it’s not enough to straighten the broker and put it on the right track.
Traders have to maintain a certain margin level as required by BluePips from time to time. The broker will not notify the user when the requirement changes.
BLUEPIPS DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
According to the user area, the payment methods are wire transfer, PayFast, and Ozow. The minimum deposit is $15.
As per the withdrawal area in the user’s dashboard, the only way to get back your money is via wire transfer. There is mention on the website that there is a 2% fee for Bitcoin withdrawals, yet we saw no such payment gateway in the user area.
Payment contradiction are expected of illicit and scammer brokers. That is why we trust only the client dashboard with such sensitive information.
Withdrawals are said to be processed within 5 days. Here is proof that the firm will charge the user fees for a number of different, and rather unnecessary, things.
However, these fees have not been indicated as to when they apply and how much they deduct from an account.
The broker may close a user’s account at any time for whatever reason, in absolute discretion.
Furthermore, the broker can liquidate an account for a number of seemingly ridiculous reasons: for insufficient margin; for when users cancel outstanding order; or for any other reason the broker deems justifiable. The entire list is below.
Here is a great reminder of how unregulated this broker really is. The following clause reveals that the broker will not be held responsible for any damages and fees (and others), even if those damages arise from unauthorized or fraudulent instruction by the company’s representatives. Here, the firm itself reveals that it is a fraud! What more evidence do you need after this?
Aside from this, the Terms and Conditions are replete with indemnification clauses and provisions. BluePips has not missed an opportunity to add a limited liability sentence in almost every subsection of the T/C.
The Terms and Conditions are very long, and so we might have missed a suspicious clause or two. But not to worry, for what we have included is more than enough to turn you away from BluePips. This broker is a ridiculous scam. All the evidence is in support of this. Do not deposit here!
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.