Beware! AskForBit 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.
AskForBit claims to be a broker, offering cryptocurrency trading. However, all signs point to this being one of many fraudulent schemes taking advantage of the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies in recent years and exploiting the general public’s ignorance of how these assets and markets actually work.
ASKFORBIT REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
The first and most worrying fact about AskForBit is that there is no clear information on exactly which is the legal company behind the site, nor whether the broker’s activity is regulated and where. This in itself is proof enough that this is not a regulated broker and you should not trust it with your money.
There is a lot of confusing and conflicting information on the site. In one place it states that the broker has “three different offices in three different locations” – London, Dominica and Cyprus. It is also mentioned that you can access and verify your personal information held by Askforbit by submitting a written request to address in London. A check in the registers of UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) shows that there is no registered broker with that name. The Financial and Monetary Administration of the Dominican Republic does not regulate forex and CFD trading.
Elsewhere it is stated that Askforbit Ltd has branches in Germany and Australia, being registered in the latter country under the name ACCE Australia Pty Ltd. The Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) records do not show a company by that name.
Тhere is indeed a registered company ACCE Australia Pty Ltd in Australia, but as these registers do not include website information, there is no guarantee that this company actually has anything to do with AskForBit. In fact, scammers sometimes take advantage of this loophole to use the names of legitimate businesses.
And even more telling, in the “Terms and condition” are mentioned neither Askforbit Ltd nor ACCE Australia Pty Ltd. Instead, three completely different companies are mentioned as opposite parties in the contract: BFXNA, BFXWW and iFinex. The same three companies have popped up behind other highly questionable sites we’ve reviewed.
On Askforbit’s website there are links to glaring reviews, including interviews with supposedly satisfied customers. The sites on which these reviews are posted, however, seem no less dubious than Askforbit itself, and are all obviously set up to promote the same group of fake brokers. In addition to this, whenever you log on to the site you will be shown a message that a certain person from Australia withdrew $2200 7 minutes ago. This in itself gives away that it is not a legitimate operation – at least because it would be a violation of all privacy laws.
If you want to try your abilities and luck in the world of forex trading, it is highly advisable to do so through legitimate brokers, regulated by a well known financial watchdog such as the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) or the Australian Securities and Investments 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, as well as guarantee for their funds in case the broker goes bankrupt. These guarantees amount to up to EUR 20,000 EU and 85,000 GBP in the UK. Regulators also have significant net capital requirements that companies must maintain – EUR 730 000 in UK and Cyprus, AUD 1000 000 in Australia.
ASKFORBIT TRADING SOFTWARE
After logging into the system immediately opens a web platform showing market prices not only for cryptocurrencies, but also for stocks, currency pairs, commodities and market indices. The platform includes some basic features such as overlaying comparative indicators on the charts, but the buy and sell order functions are not active, presumably until you deposit real money. For this reason, we cannot assess whether the platform actually offers even the basic functionality that is needed to perform trading operations. Overall it looks more like a generic infographic rather than a real trading platform.
Legitimate brokers offer their clients numerous choices for trading software, which typically includes the most popular platforms in the industry MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5). These platforms offer a number of additional features such as multiple account usage, automated trading and strategy testing scripts.
ASKFORBIT DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
One would think that a platform offering cryptocurrency trading would accept Bitcoin as a payment method. But there is no such option. In fact, while the website mentions well-known payment services like PayPal, Neteller and Skrill, the only active option for deposit is the little-known platform GumBallPay. Wire transfers are not active unless you provide documents proving your identity. Under the terms and conditions, the client can make wire transfers over the amount of USD 500, with a commission of USD 25 for every transfer. For some obscure reason, equivalent amounts in Japanese Yen are also given here.
The terms and conditions also state that there is no minimum withdrawal amount, but the withdrawal menu shows a minimum of 100 units in the currency the account is set up with. While the website states a minimum deposit of 100 units, the system allows a minimum amount of 250.
The AskForBit’s website describes five types of accounts tied to investment amounts between USD 1,000 and USD 100,000. Information about trading terms such as leverage and spreads could not be found in the website. As far as can be judged from the trading platform, the spread offered is around 2 pips, which is close to the industry average. But that doesn’t really matter because apparently no actual trading is done through this site.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK
Scammers who promise easy money without any effort are nothing new, especially on the internet. But given the excitement around bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in recent years, malicious actors have run rampant more than ever, capitalizing not only on people’s desire to solve their financial woes with a magic wand, but also ignorance and misunderstanding of how blockchain and complex financial instruments actually work.
If your curiosity is stirred by one of the many flashy websites promising easy riches, and you provide your contacts, you will soon be contacted by skillful and persuasive scammers who will convince you to start with a relatively small and “risk-free” investment. If you agree to this, you will be transferred to even more skilled at convincing scammers, who will persuade you to invest even more. Any money you give to such people is money you are unlikely to get back. Any attempt to withdraw deposits or alleged profits will be hampered by numerous and significant fees, as well as harsh and often prohibitive conditions written into the terms and conditions – such as high trading volume requirements, unexpected “taxes”, or withdrawal fees as high as 10% or even 20% of your funds.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SCAMMED
Recovering money you have given to fraudsters is difficult and often impossible. Fraudsters always want you to provide them with documents such as a copy of your ID and proof of address so that they can claim that it is a legitimate transaction, agreed voluntarily between both parties. If the transaction is made by credit or debit card, you can request a cashback and hope for the best, but transactions via wire transfer or cryptocurrencies are not refundable. It is important not to trust online offers from people who offer to recover your money in exchange for an upfront payment, because this is also a well-known scam.