Beware! Leorate 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.
Leorate claims to be “an innovative online broker” with offices in Europe and Asia, who offer traders “a number of available financial instruments that allow them to conclude profitable transactions and increase the profitability of transactions”.
However, it’s pretty obvious that this is just a typical scam platform, or at least preparation for one. At the time of writing this review, Leorate’s website is apparently unfinished, barely functional and doesn’t even have a working account registration system.
The website has a “shopping cart”, which is not something that can be expected from a broker, and is probably a remnant of the ready-made template that was used. Although the website is only available in English, when opening the shopping cart in question a menu appears in Russian.
The information that is available and especially the information that is missing from the website is more than enough to conclude that this could not be a legitimate broker. Leorate’s website bears a striking resemblance to other scam platforms we have reviewed, for example Athelneyfx.
LEORATE REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
Licensed brokers are required to provide clear information on their websites about their registration and the regulation to which they are subject. But nowhere on the website or in the attached documentation can clear information be found as to the legal entity behind the Leorate. The contact menu also does not list a company name, just a registration number and address in London, UK.
In the general register of companies in the United Kingdom under this registration number comes up a company called Leo Advisors Limited. However, this company is not a broker. It is very likely that Leorate simply found a legitimate company with a similar sounding name and used its data without permission.
To operate in the United Kingdom, a brokerage firm must be licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). But the regulator’s register does not list a broker under the name Leorate or Leo Advisors Limited.
It is abundantly clear that whoever is behind Leorate is not a legitimate broker with good intentions.
If you have a desire to start trading in the financial markets, you should avoid anonymous sites like Leorate. Instead you can do so 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. Regulated brokers are also required to segregate their operational funds from the client’s money.
LEORATE TRADING SOFTWARE
The main page of Leorate’s website does not indicate what trading software it supposedly offers to customers. However, an option “MT4 installation and adjustment” can be seen in the description of account types. This suggests that Leorate offers, or at least claims to offer, MetaTrader 4 (MT4), which is the most widely used platform in the industry. As there are no download links for the platform on the website and it is not possible to register an account, we have been unable to confirm whether this is the case.
There are more than enough legitimate brokers that offer their clients the MT4 experience. This platform is the most widely used in the industry for a reason, because it offers diverse functionality, including the use of custom scripts for automated trading and back-testing of trading strategies.
LEORATE TRADING CONDITIONS
The Leorate website describes five account types – Basic, Standard, Business, Premium and VIP. The minimum deposit ranges from USD 250 to USD 250,000. Most licensed brokers offer micro accounts with a minimum deposit of as little as USD 100.
Information on important trading indicators such as spread and leverage is missing. This is basic information that a real broker can be expected to present clearly on its website..
LEORATE DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
The logos of online payment platforms such as POLi, GiroPay and Sofort can be seen on the Leorate’s website. However, due to our inability to register an account, we were unable to verify if these services were indeed available. However, the likelihood for this is small as scammers usually prefer less known and shady platforms.
The FAQ section states that the minimum withdrawal amount is 10 units of the currency that the account is set for. However, the terms and conditions state that the minimum withdrawal amount by bank or card transfer is USD 100.
Even more confusing, the Terms and Conditions also state that the minimum deposit is USD 10,000, but “can be from USD 250” when “registering through a referral amount (favorable conditions)”. Such inconsistencies and confusing wording are typical of fraudulent schemes.
The Terms and Conditions also state that Leorate charges brokerage fees or commissions for executing trades, and that trading account might be charged an inactivity fee and/or incomplete verification fee. However, it is not specified what the amount of these fees is.
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.