Beware! IBTradeMarkets 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.
IB Trade Markets It claims to be a broker of currencies, stocks, commodities and CFDs, operating from one of the largest global financial centers. But the fake registration information and missing basic functionality of the website reveal that this is just another fraudulent scheme.
REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
IB Trade Markets have listed on their website a contact address in Essex, United Kingdom. However, the text of the Terms and conditions states that IB Trade Markets is an “international business company incorporated under the laws of Georgia ” with a registered office in Tbilisi.
This is one of the most common tactics used by scammers trying to fake legitimacy – presenting a fake address in a known financial hub like the UK, while actually being registered in a jurisdiction where they are not subject to the strict oversight and regulations that apply to legitimate brokers in the U.K.
For the purposes of this review, we checked the records of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which oversees the activities of brokers in the UK. As expected, IB Trade Markets is not listed there:
IB Trade Markets laso does not appear among the companies licensed for this type of activity by the National Bank of Georgia:
The contact number given by the IB Trade Markets has a North American code, but the area code is not valid. By all appearances, this is not a legitimate broker you can trust with your money. Instead, it is better to turn to some of the many brokers who actually work under the supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
There are many advantages to working with an FCA regulated broker. UK-based brokerages have to hold a minimum of EUR 730 000 in net tangible assets in order to prove their good financial standing. Customer money is segregated from company money in separate bank accounts and the broker has limited access to them.
Regulations in the UK also include some important measures designed to improve investor protection and promote market integrity and transparency, such as transaction reporting. All FCA regulated brokers participate in the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, and in case any of them goes bankrupt, clients can receive up to GBP 85,000 of their trading capital.
IB Trade Markets claims to use the MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platform, which is industry leading. However, the website only provides links to a non-customised installation file for MT5, the same that can be downloaded directly from the software developer’s website. The ID and password provided by IB Trade Markets could not be used for login into MT5 platform. So obviously IB Trade Markets don’t actually have a functioning trading platform.
There are numerous legitimate brokers that offer their clients the MT5 experience. Although MT5 has only recently managed to overtake its predecessor MT4 in number of users, the platform offers many advanced features, including more detailed market depth feature, improved scripts for back-testing strategies and more than 80 technical indicators.
The IB Trade Markets’s website describes five types of accounts – Micro, Standard, Trader, VIP and PRO. The stated minimum deposit for the Micro account is USD 100, which is in line with industry standard levels. The promised spread is floating from 0 pips, which in theory is very attractive, but in practice it does not matter, because obviously no real trading can be done through IB Trade Markets.
Another clue that this cannot be a legitimate broker operating in the UK is the leverage offered. Curiously, this ratio is highest for the Micro account, 1:1000, and lowest for the PRO account, 1:200. Both, however, significantly exceed the levels allowed by the Financial Conduct Authority. Higher leverage increases the chance of profit, but it also carries significantly higher risk, which is why regulators in the United Kingdom and the European Union impose restrictions of up to 1:30 for retail traders.
DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
The logos of many popular payment services such as Neteller, Skrill and WebMoney can be seen on the IB Trade Markets’ website. However, the deposit menu does not have any active options to choose a payment method. You can only select an amount and currency, with a choice between US Dollar and Indian Rupee. This suggests that at the time of writing this review this fraudulent scheme is not yet fully complete.
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.