Beware! 365GCC is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
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The first thing we notice when we load 365GCC’s website is the typo in their promotional message. It is a sign of sloppiness that immediately raises a flag.
Checking further, we discovered that two of the links on the side menu – Trading Terminals and News – return blank pages.
The broker advertises trading in Forex, Stocks, Commodities, Indices, and Cryptocurrencies. There are 5 account options listed – Classic, Silver, Gold, Platinum and VIP – starting from a $2,000 minimum deposit and up to 30% bonus to $100,000 minimum deposit and up to 100% bonus. It is obvious that 365GCC targets Muslim traders as their website is translated only in Arabic and they offer Islamic or Swap-Free accounts.
We completed the registration process, asking for first and last names, email address and phone number, and were taken straight to the trading area. Although there was an email with an activation link in our mailbox, we were able to log in without clicking the link.
The trading area also looks very unprofessional, completely lacking in terms of design and features. Such incompetence is a sure sign of some fraudster scheme as we will corroborate below.
365GCC regulation & safety of funds
The website’s Contacts page has a Luxembourg address and a UK phone number. There is no link to the Terms and Conditions on the website, except in the Sign up popup where we had to agree with them in order to complete the registration. There is no information in the T&Cs about the company that stands behind the website or where it is registered, however. What we understand from this legal document is that we are entering into an agreement with “crypto-bull.io”, which is owned and operated by a group of companies.
This website was not working, but what we found out is that the common thing between the two websites is that they both have warnings issued against them by the The Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier, the public institution which supervises the professionals and products of the Luxembourg financial sector.
Recognized regulation authorities, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) impose strict rules on the brokers they license. Among these are Negative Balance Protection, Client Account Segregation, Minimum Capital Requirements and Compensation Schemes. For non-regulated brokers, however, these rules do not apply. Taking this into consideration, we believe 365GCC is an anonymous, unregulated entity and investing money with them is not safe.
365GCC Trading Software
As we noted above, the Trading Terminals link on the website returned a blank page. In the trading area, there is a link to download the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading platform as desktop and mobile (iOS and Android) applications. The MT4 is also available as a web application.
Despite being launched 15 years ago, MT4 remains the preferred trading platform for over 80% of traders worldwide. It offers plenty of tools and instruments, such as a top-notch charts package where traders can select different types of charts, as well as plenty of technical analysis indicators, automated trading, one click trading, trade signals and many more.
The broker also offers a much less-known Status Webtrader platform. This software is quite primitive in comparison – it is of poor quality and design and lacks basic functionalities. It is actually better known for the fact that it is a preferred platform for con artists, which confirms our suspicions that 365GCC is a scam broker.
365GCC Trading Conditions
The EURUSD spread we see with the MT4 demo account is 2 pips. We have great suspicions that this is a fake demo account, however, because in the Status platform we see a spread of 3 pips for the same currency pair.
There is also no information on leveraged trading. Unregulated brokers do not have to abide by the same rules and restrictions on leverage as the ones licensed by top watchdog agencies. Although high leverage offers huge profit potential, it also presents great risks for traders as the losses incurred will be multiplied. For this reason, regulators in the EU and US impose leverage caps on retail brokers of 1:30 and 1:50 respectively.
365GCC Deposit/Withdrawal Methods And Fees
The website does not give us any information regarding available deposit or withdrawal methods – there are no credit card logos, or any other indication that popular payment methods or e-wallets (for example, PayPal, Skrill or Neteller) are supported. In the Terms and Conditions we find the following statement: “Minimum Deposit is 250USD per credit card transaction. Maximum Deposit is 10000USD per credit card transaction.”
This is in grave contradiction with the minimum deposit requirement we see in the Accounts section – a minimum deposit of $2,000 for the most basic, Classic, account. This amount is very high for a minimum deposit and raises a huge red flag that this might be a fraud.
What is more, when we click the Deposit button in the Trading area, there is no credit card options. The Cashier popup simply says “Select your crypto” and lists a number of cryptocurrencies. Whereas with credit card transactions there is a chance you can get your money back – you can file a chargeback request with your financial institution, cryptocurrency is completely anonymous and untraceable, which makes it a preferred method of scam brokers.
We also see that the brokerage charges a Dormant Account fee of $50 if there has been no transactions on client accounts for more than six months. Although the period of six months is more or less standard, the fee is quite high – respected brokers rarely charge more than $20.
To top it all there is the “Bonus terms and conditions” section – in order to withdraw funds after receiving a bonus, the client has to execute the option trading volume of at least 200 lots for each $1,000 of bonus funds. This is a standard clause of scam brokerages, since Forex regulations in the UK and the EU strictly prohibit any bonuses or incentives.
Overall, the Terms and Conditions are full of vague and empty statements that do not provide any concrete information. They confirm our suspicions that 365GCC is an unlicensed and unregulated broker and we would again advise the readers not to invest with this brokerage!
How does the scam work?
Users often fall prey of very simple but quite efficient scams. The first snare is usually an internet ad promising big profits over a short period of time, and all you need to do is provide your personal information, usually email address and phone number. If you do that, you will start getting calls from scam brokers who will continue with the pitches of quick and easy profits until you decide to make a first deposit of $200 to $300. On these funds the scammers get a fat commission and transfer you to senior “brokers”.
These expert con-artists are smooth talkers who start talking you into putting even more money in, because “now is the perfect moment” or “the more money you invest, the higher your profits will be”. Usually about this time most traders will start to feel the scam and will want to withdrawal their money and get out fast.
Unfortunately, the scammers will not give in easily. First, they will try to persuade you not to withdraw right now because you will miss on “big profits”, and if that does not work, they will find numerous reasons to deny or delay your request by asking you for additional documents or claiming that there are some other causes for not executing the withdrawal. The ultimate objective in such procrastination is to make the traders miss the crucial period in which a chargeback request can be filed, and thus lose the chance of getting their money back.
What to do if scammed?
If you used a credit card to make a deposit with the scammers you should immediately file for a chargeback. Both VISA and MasterCard have increased the time in which you can file to 540 days, in part specifically to fight such online scams.
If you used bitcoin or some other untraceable source, however, chances of recovering your funds are slim. You might get approached by so-called “recovery agents”, but don’t fall for their tricks. They will ask for payment up-front to recover your money, but this is just another scam.