Beware! GM-Associations 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.
GM-Associations is quick to showcase it shady nature. As soon as we opened the website, we were surrounded by elements typically conserved for usage by illicit brokers. Some of the most evident ones were the TradingView charts, the common and boring filler texts, and the array of stock images that have nothing to do with presenting the broker, and more to do with luring in users. The entire presentation and interface seem to fit the description of the exemplary scammer broker. To what extent are our first impression right, the following review will reveal.
There is nothing really impressive or noteworthy about the registration process. It gives users 6 different fields to complete, after which they will be redirected to the trader’s room, a user dashboard that did not impress us one bit. In fact, our opinion of GM-Associations lowered because of the limited portal area. Furthermore, almost the entire section was blocked to us because we had not verified our account.
Thus we had no real access to the user dashboard area, nor to any trading software. So all the trading details will have to be taken from the website, a source that we do not fully trust. But we have no choice.
This turned out to be easier said than done, for the website has not revealed any trading conditions. None of the usual spread values or leverages have been identified. The assets used for trading are also unknown.
The website is available in English, without a seeming way of changing that.
GM-ASSOCIATIONS REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
GM-Associations is based in the Marshall Islands, a location notorious for harboring illegal brokers. As far as unregulated broker locations go, the Marshall Islands are second only to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The islands do not have an FX regulator, meaning that all of the brokers located there are technically operating outside the law. Seeing that GM-Associations claims to be operating from there, we can conclude that it holds no license from the Marshall Islands.
Moreover, GM-Associations does not make it its priority to be regulated, as it turns out. There are no further details that the broker holds any sort of address or regulation.
In the end, GM-Associations has turned out to be another UNLICENSED broker, and therefore a risk to all traders!
Investing in unregulated brokers is synonymous with losing money. Never be too quick to deposit! Always check for a regulation prior to depositing. This should always be any trader’s priority! If the broker at hand has a regulation, preferably FCA or CySEC., then you are good to go. From there on it’s all a matter of taste and the offered trading grounds. These two agencies are in the top 5 list of the best regulators in the world. All brokers under their gaze abide by the strictest of rules and guidelines. Furthermore, both the FCA and CySEC have a compensation scheme covering all users of brokers that cannot pay their dues, due to insolvency or other similar reasons. CySEC guarantees up to €20 000 per person, while the FCA guarantees up to £85 000.
GM-ASSOCIATIONS TRADING SOFTWARE
Seeing that TradingView’s graph widgets are scattered throughout the website, there is little doubt that the platform that GM-Associations would have offered us is in reality a full-fledged TradingView chart. The idea behind this is, that certain, more inexperienced users, will confuse TradignView for a real trading software, which it absolutely is not!
There is no way for us to verify this theory. However, there is also no way to back up the broker with its claims of offering an MT4 on all devices!
As far as we’re concerned, unregulated brokers can never be trusted with platform claims. Some brokers might offer terminals, others might not.
GM-ASSOCIATIONS DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
GM-Associations does it again, entering full unregulated broker mode. The payment information is ambiguous and vague, and at times impossible to get a hold of. What we could find, we reveal in the following section.
We understand from snippets taken from all over the website that the payment methods are credit cards, debit cards, and wire transfers. There is no real mention of a minimum deposit. At one point we found a sentence referring to a $2000 minimum deposit requirement, but we cannot be sure.
Withdrawals are processed within the first 30 days of an account being opened. This statement is not the first time we ponder over it, for its meaning can have different interpretations. The minimum withdrawal amount is $50, and there seem to be no commissions attached to the process of withdrawing.
How does the scam work?
The scam tactics that brokers use come under a common denominator. Most of them have a similar structure, with small touches that some brokerages choose to include. When users fall for these they will sooner or later realize it!
The very first step resolves around the fake internet ad, found mainly in social media websites. These high-promising advertisements promote a care-free lifestyle where money is made with easy trading on assets like forex or/and cryptocurrencies. Clicking on one of these will redirect users to a website (usually the broker’s website, but sometimes an intermediary site) where they will be asked to provide contact details. Sooner or later, traders will start receiving calls or emails with alleged opportunities on huge profits in exchange for a minimum deposit, an amount that depends on the broker, but also on the user herself (high income vs low income).
If the user deposits her first deposit, then she has fallen into the scam, and the broker is ready to initiate the second stage of the scam. Enter the account managers (sometimes called senior managers). These will push for more deposits, while slowly taking over your account. They will be very aggressive with their solicitations, trying anything and everything within their ability.
At this point, the user has not yet withdrawn! When she attempts to do so, she will be greeted by a very unpleasant reality: her deposit(s) and profits can never be returned. The broker usually enforces one of the following: either it will block the account, it will close down the website, it will stall withdrawal requests, or delete the account!
What to do if scammed?
The first thing you can do, and the most crucial, it to file for a chargeback with your credit or debit card company ASAP! MasterCard and VISA have extended their chargeback period to 540 day.
Deposits that were initially invested through a bank, and were lost as a result of the scammer brokers, should stimulate users to CHANGE their bank account details- both username and password! Furthermore, it wouldn’t hurt them to contact the bank and check with them.
It is crucial to know to never invest in suspicious brokers through a crypto wallet. A majority of these payments are untraceable, and you are risking to lose all your money with no hope of ever seeing it!
The scammer, or other related parties, have a last card to play. Deposit/Investment recovery agents are notorious fraudsters that promise to recover all your lost capital in exchange for a fee. Once the commission is paid, these will disappear with the money, which leaves you at an even bigger loss!