Beware! UniteCommerce 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.
UniteCommerce is an offshore firm claiming to be a broker offering trading with stocks, indices, currency pairs, metals, energies and commodities. The fact that UniteCommerce is based in a shady location like the Commonwealth of Dominica is telling enough that you shouldn’t trust your assets to it. The lack of basic legal information and the blatant misinformation on the website confirm that this is a scam.
REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
UniteCommerce is a brand of Inffeable Group LTD, an entity registered in the Commonwealth of Dominica – a destination that has recently become increasingly popular with financial fraudsters. Although this country has a financial regulator – Financial Services Unit, It does not license or supervise forex brokers. This means that if you deal with a brokers registered there, they are completely unaccountable and you have no guarantees about the safety of your money – in fact, it is almost certain that they are scammers.
Although the UniteCommerce’s website states that “We do not allow financial fraud“, there are numerous clues that they do just that. The “terms and conditions” section of the site leads to either blank pages (e.g. for deposit and withdrawal) or unprofessional looking pdf files. The available documents mainly explain the obligations of the client – most of all to provide proof of identity documents. More importantly, in those documents neither UniteCommerce nor Inffeable Group is mentioned as a counterparty to the contract – instead as such is listed an entity called NvestPro. This is a big red flag because it’s not clear who the client is actually dealing with.
We strongly recommend that you only entrust your money to brokers working under the supervision of well-respected regulatory institutions such as Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in UK, Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), National Futures Association (NFA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in US, and Australian Securities and Exchanges Commission (ASIC). Clients of these brokers receive protections such as negative balance protection and segregation of the client’s funds from the broker’s funds. There is also guarantee for client’s funds in case the broker goes bankrupt. These guarantees amount to up to EUR 20,000 EU and 85,000 GBP in the UK.
One more thing that exposes the fraudulent nature of UniteCommerce is the trading software. The site claims that they use MetaTrader – but without specifying which version of the terminal. MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and the more advanced MetaTrader 5 (MT5) are indeed the most widely used solutions in the industry, but it is obvious that UniteCommerce is using the vague reference to this brand as part of its efforts to mislead.
After registering on the site, as expected, no version of MetaTrader can be found anywhere – instead, only a web platform is available. The platform has the basic functionalities, but lacks advanced features that are present in MetaTrader 5 like custom scripts for backtesting and automated trade. Here’s what it looks like:
The website promises “fixed spreads from 1 pip”. Theoretically, this is an advantageous level corresponding to the industry average. However, when opening the web platform we see a spread of 3 pips and up, which is on the high side and all but ensures that any fictitious or real trading through this system will be unprofitable for the client.
The offered leverage is 1:200, a level long forbidden for retail traders in regulated jurisdictions. In the UK and EU, the maximum level is 1:30 for major currency pairs and lower for more volatile assets, and in the US the maximum leverage is 1:50.
DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
An additional trading account must be created after the initial registration. The site describes four types of accounts – Mini, Standard, VIP and PRO, with minimum deposits of $250, $500, $1,000 and $5,000. This is not so far from the average for the industry, but we recommend trying a legitimate broker, many of which offer micro accounts with a minimum deposit of $100 or less.
The deposit menu only allows two payment options – credit/debit card and Bitcoin. Scammers often use cryptocurrencies, because they are not refundable, unlike the bank and credit card transfers. If you’re interested in legitimate brokers that accept Bitcoin, take a look at this list.
The UniteCommerce’s website repeatedly asks you to enter your credit card details, but under no circumstances should you do this – the terms and conditions include a clause that the trading account “might be charged an inactivity fee of 30% of the total balance” and it is also stated that “the Company may introduce additional fees and charges, and may change any existing fees and charges, at any time”. So if you have given your details, you will be charged even if you are not actively using the “services” of UniteCommerce.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK
Unfortunately, for every licensed broker, there are dozens, if not hundreds of offshore registered and unregulated firms whose sole purpose is to scam gullible people. They recruit through attractive online ads, promising easy money for minimal effort. Once you have provided your details and they contact you, you fall into the hands of experienced scam artists, who confidently charm you until they con you out of real money in exchange for empty promises. Any attempts to recoup your initial deposit or additional investment will be blocked by confusing explanations and the catches written into the terms and conditions of the contract, such as hefty additional taxes and fees, amounting to 10% or 20% of your funds.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SCAMMED
The best chance to get at least some of your money back is to contact the bank or card company where the payment was made and ask for cashback. But there is no guarantee that your application will be approved, especially if you have provided your personal details like a copy of ID or proof of address to the scammers. It is important not to pay attention to offers from online companies to return your money in exchange for an upfront payment, because it is almost certain that they are also scammers.