Beware! UnionStock 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.
UnionStock is an offshore Forex broker offering standard Forex and CFD trading on a web-based platform supposedly developed by themselves. Their website is pretty distinctive, but that’s not a positive feature in any way. It’s hard to navigate and overall annoying to browse through because it looks like a PowerPoint presentation. However, the website feel is an insignificant problem compared to other issues we faced while inquiring into this business. Find out why you should stay away from this broker in the full UnionStock review.
UnionStock REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
UnionStock is an offshore broker and a trading name of Felicity Group LTD, a company registered in the Commonwealth of Dominica. The Caribbean island is considered a tax haven where the financial regulation is pretty much non-existent. The businesses operating there are not transparent and totally anonymous, making Dominica a preferred location for scammers. In particular, the local financial regulator does not even license or regulate the Forex brokers registered in Dominica. So, it’s risky to deal with such companies because they do not follow any rules and may carry out fraud without suffering any consequences whatsoever.
Felicity Group LTD is an excellent example because it’s a company that was officially exposed as fraudulent by numerous financial authorities in Europe. At the bottom of this section, you can see the warning issued by the Austrian regulator FMA. Your funds are in danger if you deposit with UnionStock because it’s a scam scheme run by financial criminals.
Avoid them and see the adequately regulated EU brokers and the British brokers we recommend by following the links provided. The European financial markets are strictly regulated and safe for traders and investors. Financial authorities in the EU and UK demand brokers to follow various customer protection regulations in the pursuit to guarantee fair and ethical business behaviour. Most importantly, there are money protection schemes laid down to protect traders and investors’ money in case of bankruptcy or fraud. For example, CySEC brokers’ clients can claim up to 20 000 EUR, while the British guarantees are up to 85 000 GBP per person.
UnionStock TRADING SOFTWARE
UnionStock provides web-based trading software and MetaTrader4. We accessed both platforms but encountered a severe problem- noticeably different spreads. The EUR/USD Buy/Sell difference is 3 pips in the browser-based platform, but more than 8 pips in MetaTrader4. Such a discrepancy in the trading conditions indicates price manipulation, which once again confirms that UnionStock is a scam.
Speaking of platforms, see the MetaTrader4 brokers and MetaTrader5 brokers we recommend. MT is an advanced trading software providing sophisticated trading tools such as Expert Advisors, Algo trading and plenty of complex indicators. They also created a marketplace where you can find more than 10 000 apps and third-party developed trading solutions.
The maximum leverage possible is 1:200, which is a particularly risky ratio for retail traders. If misused, high levels such as 1:200 and 1:500 might inflict significant losses on traders very quickly indeed. Considering the hazards, many financial authorities undertook protection measures to reduce losses caused by leverage mishandle.
So, the European, British and Australian brokers (to come in effect later in 2021) are limited to 1:30, while the Canadian brokers and the US brokers can’t provide higher levels than 1:50. The Swiss brokers aren’t restricted, but there is a 20 million francs capital requirement in Switzerland, which push scammers away.
UnionStock DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
The minimum deposit with UnionStock is $250, a requirement more than twice higher than the regulated industry standards- $100 on average. The funding methods are supposedly Credit/Debit cards, Wire Transfers, Bitcoin and PayPal. Regardless of the broker, we advise traders to fund accounts via bank cards only because it gives the opportunity to file a chargeback within a year and a half after the deposit date. On the other hand, Wires and Bitcoin transfers are final and non-refundable, so not recommended.
However, if you have a preferred payment system, see our lists with legit Skrill brokers, Neteller brokers, FasaPay brokers, Sofort brokers and Bitcoin brokers. The selected companies are strictly regulated, so it’s unlikely for traders to experience fraud.
There is no information about minimum withdrawal requirements, but there are fees applicable to each transaction. However, UnionStock fails to specify the charges in size and scope, leaving the door open to potentially invent fees on the run. In this case, that’s evidence of a scam and a red flag. The withdrawal request processing time is also unacceptable- 5 to 7 days, a lifetime compared to the legit brokers’ standards- 48 hours on average.
We need to raise another red flag for their dormant policy. The account becomes dormant after 3 months of inactivity according to their T&Cs or after 6 months according to their Deposit and Withdrawal policy. Such a discrepancy undeniably compromise their credibility. In both cases, though, the account will be subject to a 10% monthly deduction, which is a scam clause whatsoever. As a comparison, the legit brokers’ inactivity fee is 5 to 10 dollars per month at most.
There are deposit bonuses available, but the additional provisions entrap traders, making it impossible to withdraw. UnionStock imposes a minimum trading volume clients have to reach to become eligible to withdraw- 25 times the deposit plus bonus amount. So, traders can’t take out any money unless they meet the requirements, which is yet another scam clause.
Overall, UnionStock is another trading name of a company run by scammers, so stay safe and avoid.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK
New types of investment scams come about literally every day. However, most of the new schemes represent a modification of common fraud. These are not typical for the local markets but very similar from country to country.
Scammers usually find their victims through ads on social media or other websites, which is the latest trend. Classical tactics, such as cold calling, became less widespread as the Internet is prevalent nowadays. The offers look legit and present exciting opportunities to invest money in the Forex market. Traders are reassured that the people behind the broker have an excellent track record, promising high returns or seamless trading. They claim that there are no problems when trading with them, concealing that the FX market is utterly risky.
What usually happens is that scammers just pocket traders and investors money letting them believe they trade in a real environment. Sooner or later, clients would ask for a withdrawal, but scammers would delay or straightforward refuse to send any money back. Whenever traders persist, the guys standing behind the fraudulent broker would usually cut the communication or send a tiny amount of money. It’s also a common manoeuvre for scammers to ask for more money to sort the withdrawals out. Either way, traders are likely to lose some or all of the capital invested. At some point, when the fraud becomes evident, the scammers would simply rebrand and start afresh, creating a new scheme under a different name.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SCAMMED
Unfortunately, no one is immune to scam. What you need to do first, in case you got scammed, is to protect yourself from further risks. Contact your bank and explain to them your situation, they will give you necessary instructions to follow and will help you, if possible, recover your money.
Report what happened to you, file a complaint, contact the financial regulator, contact other government institutions related to trading and investing, call the police if you feel necessary. Seek help actively!
It’s crucial not to rush blindly trying to recover your funds because many scam recovery agencies and individuals are stalking, aiming to double scam the victims. They ask for an advanced payment but do nothing to help you recover your losses and simply pocket the money you’ve sent!
Share online your experience; it’s important to protect others, as well. Be responsible!