Beware! MaxiPlus 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.
MaxiPlus is an offshore broker that offers trading in Forex, Stocks, Commodities, Indices and Cryptocurrencies. They have five types of accounts ranging from a $250 to a $70,000 minimum deposit requirement. They do not offer a Demo account, which raises a red flag since almost every respectable broker offers one.
To register for a Live account we had to provide First and Last names, Email address, Phone number, and Country. At completing the registration process successfully we were redirected to the client area and received an email with “activation” link. There was no point in this activation, however, because we were already logged in.
MaxiPlus Regulation and safety of funds
The broker’s website has a Commonwealth of Dominica address but there is no phone number to contact them. Dominica is an offshore jurisdiction in the Carribean that does not regulate forex brokers, which makes it an attractive destination for scam operations. In the footer is mentioned a company, Seabreeze Partners Ltd. with registration number 2020 IBC 00062 and same address:
This address is quite familiar as we have seen a number of illegitimate brokers based there over the last year. That is why we researched the company behind the broker’s website, and to no surprise, we found there has been a couple warnings issued by the Spanish regulator, Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) over the last 2 months, that it is not authorised to provide investment services – see for yourselves:
Although the websites are different, the parent company is the same as the broker we are reviewing. This is a common scammers’ tactic – as soon as their website falls under the radar of authorities, they quickly forge another one and resume their operations under a different domain.
The About Us page claims the broker provides “the best trading conditions”, as well as security for their funds – look for yourself:
This is also something con artists often do – they will promise you everything to make you invest your money with them. Unless these statements are grounded in a regulatory framework, however, they are nothing but empty claims. That is why we always advise our readers to select a broker that is licensed and regulated by an established financial watchdog, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
These agencies have very strict policies – Client Account Segregation requires that clients’ funds are kept separate from the broker’s operating funds, while Negative Balance Protection ensures that traders cannot lose more money than what they invested. Other requirements include a Minimum Operational Capital of 730,000 EUR in order to guarantee the broker’s good financial standing and participation in Compensation Schemes, which provide additional assurance for investors’ funds up to a certain amount (85,000 GBP in the UK and 20,000 EUR in the EU).
MaxiPlus, however, is an offshore, unregulated broker, so they may claim to offer you great trading conditions and promise your money is safe with them, but we would not advise risking that.
MaxiPlus Trading Software
The broker offers a web-based trading platform, Webtrader. This software is quite rudimentary in terms of design and functionalities – it is very far from professional standards and does not offer even a fragment of the features established platforms provide, not even a Demo account – see for yourself:
We generally advise our readers to choose a broker that provides access to established trading software for their traders, such as the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) or MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platforms. MT4 is considered the world’s number one platform, preferred by over 80% of users. It offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface, advanced charting and analysis tools, as well as copy and auto-trade options. Its successor, MT5, has some advantages – it allows traders to execute trades on different financial markets through a single account and there is a hedging option. It boasts various features such as additional order types (“Buy Stop Limit” and “Sell Stop Limit”) and a built-in e-mail service in which it surpasses the MT4. Both platforms are available as desktop, web and mobile (iOS and Android) applications as well.
MaxiPlus Trading Conditions
Except for empty phrases such as “exceptional trading conditions”, the broker does not provide any concrete information about the spreads or leverage they offer their clients. In the platform screenshot above we see a 3 pips spread for EURUSD, which is quite far from competitive. Regulated brokers generally provide a spread of 1 – 1.2 pips for this most traded currency pair; wider spreads make the cost of trading very high. They would guarantee hefty profits for the brokerage on the back of traders’ losses.
From the Terms and Conditions we also understand they charge “brokerage fees or commissions” for executing trades. Here again we see the lack of any specifics – they do not say how large these commissions are or how they are calculated, is it a fixed amount or a percentage of the sum traded.
The leverage MaxiPlus offers is 1:100. Trading on leverage comes with significant risks, especially to inexperienced traders. Although in theory it allows for bigger profits, one may incur great losses too, often much greater than the invested funds. That is why, most regulatory authorities impose leverage caps for non-professional traders: in the USA it is 1:50, while for brokers licensed in the EU and the UK it is 1:30. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) also started to restrict leverage for major currency pairs to 1:30 from 29 March this year.
MaxiPlus Deposit/Withdrawal Methods And Fees
Information about payment methods is also scarce on the website. In the client area there are only two options for deposit – credit / debit cards and cryptocurrencies. Popular methods, such as PayPal and preferred by traders e-wallets, eg. Skrill and Neteller are not supported.
The minimum deposit amount is $250, which is more than double the standards of regulated brokers – they ask for $100 from the traders on average. Although MaxiPlus claims they do not charge any fees for deposits or withdrawals, there is a clause that they may introduce additional fees and charges at any time:
The bonuses offered also come with a catch – in order to withdraw funds from an account that has been credited with a bonus, the trader will be required to execute a minimum trading volume of 25 times the deposit + bonus amount. This is a common scam practice to lure investors and it is prohibited by major regulatory organizations.
Considering all this, we would advise our readers not to invest money with an unregulated, scam broker such as MaxiPlus!
How does the scam work?
The most common scams are quite simple and straightforward and involve a multi-level scheme that usually goes by the following scenario. Internet users are lured by the numerous ads promising quick and easy fortunes by trading in the Forex world. When they click on such an ad they are redirected to a website tailored to the continuation of these false pledges, which asks them to register with their personal information. This data is then used by the scam brokers who immediately start to work on getting them to make an initial deposit of $200 – $300 by making even greater promises of big profits.
Once the users make their first deposit, the scam brokers get a fat commission on it. Now the senior scammers enter the scene. They are smooth talkers who will not stop at anything to convince traders that they are on their way to become very rich, if only they follow their advice and deposit more money to trade with.
Sooner or later the users will start suspecting something is not right and will want to withdraw their funds. This will not prove very easy, however. The scammer will do everything to delay their requests, by persuading them now is not the right time, asking for additional documents, or referring to specific withdrawal clauses. This is also part of the scam since the con-artists are trying to delay the users from filing for chargeback with their financial institution, and they miss the time frame for such chargeback, traders will lose their money without a chance of getting it back.
What to do when scammed?
If you’re scammed you should immediately file for a chargeback with your credit card provider. Good news is that VISA and MasterCard recently extended the chargeback period to a year and a half in an effort to combat online fraud. If you deposited with bitcoin or bank wire there is not much chance.
If you provided the scammers with any bank account or credit card details, such as security codes or passwords, make sure to cancel the card and talk to your bank. Also, if you are being approached by any “recovery agencies” promising to get your money back for a fee, do not fall for that. This is a piggyback scam, using the vulnerability of recently defrauded people and their hope the fraud may be reversed, and it will not recover your funds. These so-called agents will collect their fee and you will never hear from them again.