Beware! Optimus Markets 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.
Optimus Markets wants you to believe that it is a registered and legitimate broker and trading with it will bring you a lot of advantages. However, there are many signs that this broker is fraudulent and it won’t do any good for your funds if you entrust them to this broker.
Optimus Markets Regulation and safety of funds
From the information available on its website, we find out that the company that owns and operates Optimus Markets is registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) and its address is in Hungary. The broker has even posted a certificate of incorporation in SVG. How convincing! Or not? What you should know is that there is no official regulatory body for forex brokers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and brokers that claim to be registered there are not legit and should not be trusted. But that is not all. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the official regulatory body for forex brokers in the UK has issued a warning (image below) that this company is not authorised to offer any financial or investment services. This is sufficient proof that you should avoid trading with this broker for the sake of your hard-earned money.
Luckily, FCA provides very strict regulations for forex brokers which do not make easy for scammers to infiltrate the ranks of legit brokers. To obtain a license, UK brokers must invest 730,000 EUR in the form of initial capital. In addition to that, they must keep their clients’ funds segregated from their own with tier-1 bank establishments, provide negative balance protection, report transactions on regular basis, have internal and external audits, etc. As you can see for yourself, there are many effective measures to protect clients’ funds and to guarantee their safety. But that is not all. One of the biggest advantages in trading with UK brokers is that they also participate and deduct funds towards the local Financial Services Compensation Scheme which serves to repay up to 85,000 GBP per client if the broker goes bankrupt.
Hungarian forex brokers adhere to ESMA regulations which are practically the same as in the UK. The major difference is in the fact that Hungarian brokers participate in the local investor compensation fund which can reimburse clients up to 20,000 EUR per person if the broker becomes insolvent.
Optimus Markets Trading software
Optimus Markets trades in forex, indices, CFDs, commodities and cryptocurrencies. The trading software offered to the clients is a web trader which is a rather cheap platform with limited functionalities that does not do much to enhance clients’ trading experience. On the left-hand side in the image below you can see the menu with trading products with their bid/ask price and in the middle of the screen is displayed the chart of one of these trading products, namely the EUR/USD currency pair. The chart shows the fluctuation in price for the same currency pair in a given time frame. Below the chart are the buttons for executing trades. From the bid/ask price of the EUR/USD currency pair, we can calculate that the spread is 0.4 pips. This spread is quite tight which is beneficial for traders as the cost of transactions won’t be too high and they will be able to achieve sustainable profit.
However, we are alarmed to see that the leverage for forex pairs is 1:500 as per the information available on the Optimus Markets website. It is typical for unlicensed brokers and scammers to offer high leverage hoping to attract more potential traders as it seems like the high leverage increases the chances for making a big win. However, this is a misconception given the fact that around 70% of traders lose in transactions. What happens, in reality, is that traders may suffer great financial loss amplified by the high leverage. It is not by chance that in the EU and the UK there is a limitation on the leverage brokers can offer and it is capped at 1:30. This is one of the measures to prevent traders from engaging in reckless and risky transactions and to protect their funds. We do not advise our readers and potential traders to trade with high leverage.
Apparently, it is typical for unlicensed brokers and scammers to offer cheap trading software. On the other hand, from the links of reputable and high-ranking forex brokers that we provided in the previous section, you can see that they offer much better quality software. We are talking about the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 trading platforms which are the best in forex trader and choice number one for 80% of the brokers. It is easy to understand why as both platforms are equipped with an excellent package of trading tools and instruments that include the auto trading option, an app market, a financial calendar, VPS, trading signals, code base with customs scripts, etc. A key feature for these platforms is the charting options that contain many charts, time frames, colours and even the option of creating customised templates which combined with the variety of technical analysis indicators allows traders to predict the future direction of exchange rates and make a profit.
We strongly recommend you to find a licensed broker that offers either platform.
Optimus Markets Deposit/Withdrawal methods and fees
Optimus Markets offers 3 trading accounts (image below) – ECN, Gold and Bitcoin. The minimum initial deposit for the ECN and Gold accounts is $250 and for the Bitcoin account, it is 0.01 BTC or the equivalent of $516 as per the exchange rate at the moment of writing this review.
The deposit and withdrawal methods are limited to payments via credit/debit card and bank wire. The legal documents available on the Optimus Markets website do not provide information regarding the minimum withdrawal amount or any related fees.
In the legal documents, there is a mention about trading accounts that stay inactive for over 3 months and that they will be charged fees. However, the amount of the fees is not specified which is unacceptable.
How does scam work?
A lot of people get scammed in different scammers’ schemes not because they are naive but because scammers are masters of persuasion and manipulation. It all starts with unsolicited telephone calls or a flashy ad on the Internet or social media. Sometimes people give up to temptation and invest money in shady schemes made to look legit and attractive and always promising quick and easy money fall. Once you deposit money into any of these schemes, you reach a point of no return! Your money is gone down the scammers’ food chain and you’ll have a lot of trouble recovering it. Scammers will do anything in their power to delay you, so you miss the opportunity to file for a chargeback. They will ask you for this and that document and will find hundreds of reasons not to let you retrieve your money. The trick with offering bonuses in forex trading is one of those as your funds are mixed with the bonus money and it takes a lot of hassle to fulfil the broker’s requirements before you are able to withdraw any funds.
What to do if scammed?
Speed does it! You need to act very quickly if you want to recover your money. Immediately apply for a chargeback if you have made your deposit via credit card. Fortunately, VISA and MasterCard give you 540 days within which to apply for a chargeback.
If you have paid via wire transfer or Bitcoin, chances of retrieving your fund are grim. Anyway, we want to warn you that some of the so-called recovery agents may approach you and offer to retrieve your funds. For a fee, of course! Be cautious when dealing with them as it may be another form of scam! Always check if the recovery agency is legitimate and visible to the public!
Another thing we advise you to do is to immediately cancel any credit cards if the scammers have your CVV code. Also, make sure to erase any programs on your computer that give scammers access to your personal data on your PC.