Beware! UMcapitals 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.
UMcapitals present itself as a “reputable global broker that offers investors the best environment to trade the financial markets in a safe and profitable manner”. However, this is actually an anonymous, offshore operation that has all the symptoms of a typical fraudulent scheme. It is highly recommended that you avoid UMcapitals and under no circumstances trust them with your money.
UMCAPITALS REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
The first sign that reveals that these are undoubtedly scammers is the fact that nowhere on the website or in the attached documents does it mention which legal entity is behind UMcapitals. This is unacceptable for any legitimate business, let alone a broker that manages other people’s funds.
UMcapitals implements a fairly typical scam scheme. A fake UK contact address is given to give the impression that this is a broker operating in one of the world’s leading financial hubs. However, a careful reading of the Terms and Conditions reveals that the relationship between UMcapitals and clients will be governed by the laws of Marshall Islands. This offshore zone is infamous as a base for scammers claiming to be brokers. As there is no financial regulator in the Marshall Islands, the activities of such firms are not subject to supervision and regulation.
If UMcapitals really was a UK based broker, it would be licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). However, there is no company of that name on the regulator’s register:
To trade in the capital markets without being scammed, you need to turn to some of the brokerage firms that are indeed licensed by powerful regulators like the FCA. Such brokers are subject to serious scrutiny and must meet a number of requirements for financial stability and transparency of operations. They must provide clients with negative balance protection and to participate in a guarantee fund that covers up to GBP 85,000 of a client’s investment should the broker go into insolvency.
UMCAPITALS TRADING SOFTWARE
UMcapitals claims to offer clients the most widely used trading platform in the industry, MetaTrader 4 (MT4). However, after creating an account, it is apparent that UMcapitals only has a basic web platform. Here’s what it looks like:
Although the web platform has some advanced features such as one-click trading, the options for customizing charts and using technical indicators are quite limited. The platform also lacks more advanced features such as Expert Advisor bots, as can be found in MT4 or the newer MetaTrader 5 (MT5).
UMCAPITALS TRADING CONDITIONS
The website describes four account types – Starter, Advanced, expert and Fusion. A minimum deposit of USD 250 is specified for the Starter Account, while the other accounts’ descriptions specify that the minimum deposit is ” personalized”. For comparison, regulated brokers usually offer micro accounts for novice traders with a minimum deposit of around USD 100.
A “variable” spread of 1.6 pips is specified for the Starter account, from 2 pips for the Advanced account, and from 0.0 pips for the other two account types. In the trading platform it can be seen that the spread is set at around 2 pips. This is not very far from the average levels at legitimate brokers, but in general a spread of 2 pips is considered high.
The listed leverage for different accounts varies from 1:100 to 1:500, although if you open the link “full account terms and description” a level of 1:500 is listed for all account types.
This is also a very clear indicator that UMcapitals is not a broker operating in the UK or any other jurisdiction where there is serious regulation of brokerage activity. High leverage allows for greater profits but carries a corresponding increased risk. Therefore, the FCA and EU regulators limit leverage for retail traders to 1:30 when trading major currency pairs and even lower levels for more volatile assets.
UMcapitals’s terms and conditions also mention that customers are offered bonuses. Attracting customers with bonuses and promotions is another thing that UK and EU regulators prohibit.
UMCAPITALS DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
The deposit menu includes only two options. One is the little-known online platform NeoBanQ, which has also been used by other scam sites we’ve reviewed. The other option is a bank transfer, where the only information visible to the recipient is that their bank account is in Lithuania.
In the text of the Terms and Conditions there is a trap often used by fraudsters. It is related to the bonuses mentioned above. If the client has received any bonus, the withdrawal of any money from his account becomes tied to high requirements for minimum traded volume – 30 times the amount of the bonus plus the deposit. These clauses are intended to make the withdrawal requirements prohibitive for people who have made the mistake of depositing money into the UMcapitals.
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.