Beware! Prize FX 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.
Prize FX advertises trading in forex, indices, stocks, commodities, cryptocurrencies. They do not offer different accounts; rather they have “Investment Offers” starting from $500.
Their business model involves something they call “Risk Free Trading” – trader and broker engage in a contract and invest in an asset, then open the position and set the parameters for it. Although the name may sound enticing, one should know that no type of market trading is ever 100% risk free, and the broker is not hiding that – see for yourself:
We registered for an account by providing our names, email address, phone number, and upon submitting this data were transferred to the broker’s client area. We did not receive an email confirmation which is a sure sign that not everything is legit with this broker since any provider of online services, especially financial, will make sure there is an email engine implemented on their website.
Prize FX Regulation and Safety of funds
As we can see in the screenshot above, Prize FX claims to be “regulated as a RFT broker by CySEC, the FCA, and ASIC”. This is actually the answer to the first of their FAQs, “Is Aspirefx legit?”. On another page there is a statement that they are a registered company in the USA – check it out:
In reality, the correct statement is in the screenshot below – “Prize Fx is regulated and licensed under [NO AUTHORITY] as a legal Forex Brokerage amongst others.” In other words, Prize FX is NOT regulated, but a scam. We checked the databases of all the major financial watchdogs listed above, as well as the USA one, but the broker’s name could not be found in any of them.
Prize FX advances another claim – that they are regulated as a “Category 3 Investment Services Provider”, which is yet another false statement:
We also see several offshore locations listed below the false claim, which might be true, but one should be aware that offshore jurisdictions have a very relaxed, if any, regulatory framework with regards to financial services. The black popup “Live Withdrawals” kept coming up as we were browsing their website, trying to make us believe how their clients are making big profits and withdrawing funds every few minutes.
The term “Category 3 Investment Services Provider” refers to Maltese Investment services licenses and authorizes licensees to provide any Investment Service, hold and control clients’ money or customers’ assets. The Maltese regulator, Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), however, would not agree with that – a few days ago they issued an alert to the public that the entity is not authorised by them and “likely to be a scheme of dubious nature with a high risk of loss of money” – take a look:
All this clearly shows that Prize FX is an unregulated, scam broker. We advise our readers to choose brokers that are licensed by respectable watchdog agencies such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK or the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). These organizations have a number of rules and policies to guarantee the broker’s financial stability, eg. Minimum Capital Requirements of 730,000 EUR, and to safeguard their customers’ investments – Compensation Schemes in the event of broker insolvency (up to 85,000 GBP in the UK and 20,000 EUR in the EU), Client Account Segregation designed to keep clients’ money separate from the broker’s operating funds, and Negative Balance Protection – traders may not lose more than the initially funds they invested.
Prize FX Trading Software
When we registered for an account and accessed the client area it became absolutely clear that the broker is a scam – they do not even have a real trading platform. There is only a graph by TradingView, which is a charting web service with historical and real-time data, but it is just the first step towards a trading platform.
Regulated brokers offer recognized trading platforms, 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. Both platforms are available as desktop, web and mobile (iOS and Android) applications as well.
Prize FX Trading Conditions
There are no details about the trading conditions offered, which is understandable – the “broker” does not offer the possibility for trading. Regulated brokers generally provide spreads between 1 and 1.5 pips for major currency pairs – anything wider would make the cost of trading high for the traders, and will guarantee good profits for the brokerage.
Leverage is also not mentioned. Trading on leverage can be tricky as it entails significant risks, especially to inexperienced traders. Although it allows for making 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 start restricting leverage for major currency pairs to 1:30 starting from March 29 this year.
Prize FX Deposit/Withdrawal Methods And Fees
The broker does not offer any choice of deposit/withdrawal methods. The standard options, credit /debit cards and bank transfers, are not available. Popular payment methods, such as PayPal and preferred by traders e-wallets, eg. Skrill and Neteller, are also not supported.
The only option for deposit in the client area is Bitcoin – a method preferred by scammers as it is almost completely anonymous and untraceable:
There is no information about minimum deposit requirements, but from the screenshot above we see that the Prize FX charges a 3.5% fee for deposits – this is quite excessive, especially for electronic and / or crypto payments, for which respectable brokers do not charge any fees. Apart from that there are no details regarding fees, charges or commissions, which is very disturbing.
To conclude, we warn our readers that Prize FX is a scam website and investing money with them is not safe!
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.