Beware! Stox4 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.
Stox4 claims to be a forex broker “founded by a team of financial experts”. In actuality, it is a completely anonymous website, applying well-known fraudulent schemes.
At the time of writing this review, the Stox4’s website lacks basic functionality, including the ability to register an account. This suggests that this scam may still be in development, or the project may have been abandoned. But the available information is sufficient to conclude that this is not a legitimate broker and should be avoided.
STOX4 REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
Stox4 is employing one of the most common fraudulent schemes. Possibly false UK address and contact number is given to give the impression that this is a broker working in one of the world’s largest financial centres. A careful reading of the Terms and Conditions, however, reveals that the customer relationship is in fact governed by the laws of the Marshall Islands. This indicates that the actual company behind Stox4 is registered offshore, where there is no financial regulator and the activities of the firms posing as brokers are not subject to control.
If it were a broker operating in the UK, Stox4 would be licensed and supervised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Unsurprisingly, there is no company of that or similar name on the FCA’s records.
In fact, the most obvious signal that Stox4 are scammers is that nowhere on the website and attached documents does it specify which legal entity is behind this operation.
You should avoid shady sites like Stox4 at any cost. Instead you can try your luck and skill on the capital markets through some of the companies that operate under the supervision of respected regulatory bodies such as Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) or Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
As their customer you will enjoy a number of guarantees including negative balance protection and guarantee for your funds if the broker goes bankrupt, which goes up to EUR 20,000 in EU and 85,000 GBP in the UK. Regulations in the UK and EU include some important measures designed to improve investor protection and promote market integrity and transparency, such as transaction reporting.
STOX4 TRADING SOFTWARE
Stox4 claims to offer “an innovative platform developed after a thorough study of what an average trader really needs in order to succeed”. The website actually links to two separate web platforms for trading Contract for Differences (CFDs) and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). The problem is that these platforms do not load no matter what browser is used.
We were also unable to register a Stox4 account. We tried to do it through various VPN and proxy servers, but the result was always a message that “we currently do not support registrations from your country”.
Given everything else that is wrong with Stox4, these missing features are probably not the result of regional limitations, but of platform incompleteness.
Legitimate brokers offer clients a wide selection of quality trading software. Typically, this includes the industry’s most popular platforms, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5). These platforms provide a variety of options for interface and chart customization, multiple account usage, designing and implementing custom scripts for automated trading and backtesting trade strategies.
STOX4 TRADING CONDITIONS
Four account types are described on the Stocks4 website – Basic, Silver, Gold and Platinum. These accounts are linked to an “account balance” ranging from USD 5,000-10,000 for Basic to over USD 100,000 for Platinum. In comparison, licensed and regulated brokers typically offer micro accounts for a minimum deposit as little as USD 100.
There is no information about the spread offered on the website. The leverage offered for different account types ranges from 1:50 to 1:400. This is further evidence that this could not be a licensed broker operating in the UK. The FCA, like regulators in the European Union, limits leverage for retail traders to 1:30. High leverage allows for higher profits, but also leads to increased risk, which regulators deem unacceptable.
Another clue that Stox4 are scammers is that they offer customers “bonuses and rewards”. Attracting customers through bonuses and promotions is another thing that is forbidden to brokers in the UK and EU.
Like many other scammers, Stox4 uses these bonuses as a trap for their victims. The Terms and Conditions state that an account which has received a bonus can only withdraw money if it meets a minimum trading volume requirement – in this case 30 times the bonus amount plus the deposit. Such high requirements make it virtually impossible for the customer to withdraw their supposed profits and even their initial deposit.
Due to our inability to register an account, we have been unable to confirm Stox4’s claims that “you can fund your account using bank wire, popular eWallets and major credit/debit cards”. However, these claims are very dubious because scammers prefer little-known and shady online payment platforms or cryptocurrencies. This makes transfers difficult or impossible to refund.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK
The online space is full of ads promising easy money. They sound too good to be true, because they are not – they are outright scams. Many of these fraudsters pose as brokers and take advantage of the general public’s ignorance of the capital markets.
If you give your contact details to one of the flashy sites promising to make you rich, you will be contacted by experienced scammers who will start convincing you to “invest” in their scheme. Initially they will ask for a small amount, say USD 250 or USD 500. If you agree, they will begin to persuade you to give them larger sums.
However, your money will never be truly invested in the market, and you will not be able to receive either the supposed profits or the money from your deposit. Your attempts to withdraw your money will be blocked by deliberately confusing clauses in the terms and conditions. Some of the most commonly used traps are extremely high minimum trading volume requirements or withdrawal fees equal to 10%, 20% or more of your funds.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SCAMMED
It is very important not to rush into trusting people on the internet who offer to magically refund your money for a fee. These are also scammers, and they may even be the same ones who scammed you in the first place.
If you have made the transfers using credit or debit card, you can claim a chargeback. Visa and MasterCard allow this to be done within 540 days. However, such a request may not be approved if you have given the fraudsters documents such as a copy of an ID and proof of address. This will allow them to claim that the transaction is legitimate and approved by both parties. Wire and cryptocurrency transfers unfortunately are not refundable.