Beware! Stearn House 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.
Stearn House makes the bold claim to “offer Reliable, Trusted and Simple trading solutions”. They are however just another scam company behind whose shiny exterior you will find tons of inconsistencies and shady terms. One weird thing is that the whole “Company” section of their website focuses only on the extensive history of cryptocurrencies but does not provide a single phone number. The only way to reach them is via email which is already enough of a red flag. Trying to earn money by using the services of such shady companies can (and will) only get you in trouble.
Stearn House REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
Stearn House claims to be based in the UK which cannot be true. The FCA, the regulatory organ that is responsible for regulating brokers in the UK, maintains a register of all licensed brokers, and the fact we could not find any mention of a company going by the name “Stearn House” in that register only goes to show that this broker is in fact completely unregulated.
What is even more bothersome, is that the NSSC (The Nova Scotia Securities Commission), one of the regulators for Canada where Stearn House has provided a registered address, ” is alerting Nova Scotians that Stearn House Trading and representatives … are not registered to trade in securities or derivatives in Nova Scotia.”
This puts Stearn House among the hundreds of untrustworthy, unregulated brokers that circulate out there. These companies are only after your money and do not provide any security for your funds. Licenses by serious regulatory bodies are not easy to come by and can only be received upon covering a lot of mandatory requirements. Such regulated brokers are obligated to follow the law and prove that they are able to operate on the quickly changing financial markets.
In Canada, for example, all brokers are obligated to participate in the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) which insures all clients against losses due to a broker`s bankruptcy. Such clients can claim up to $1 million. In the UK, you can get a compensation of £85 000. Additionally, brokers have to maintain the capital of at least €730 000 to prove they can protect clients in case of unforeseen events. This is, of course, the minimum. In reality, many brokers with a lot of clients are asked to maintain an even bigger capital. The advantages of working with licensed brokers are unmeasurable and you would do yourself a favor if you check such brokers out.
Stearn House TRADING SOFTWARE
The trading platform Stearn House uses is web-based and is far inferior to popular platforms like Metatrader 4 and Metatrader 5. Such cheap web platforms are easy to operate but do not offer a lot of the functions MetaTrader can offer. MetaTrader has made a name for itself as the best trading platform out there because of the use of Expert Advisors that trade automatically based on an algorithm, the possibility to buy a VPS which keeps your trading bots operating, and many more.
Stearn House TRADING CONDITIONS
Stearn House offers five different types of accounts with minimum deposits starting from $1000 for the most basic account. This is a huge amount of money considering the fact most legitimate brokers could open up an account for anywhere between $10 and $100. The sum rarely exceeds $250.
Another red flag is the mention of welcome bonuses – between 30% and 150% depending on your account type. Bonuses are banned in most countries where some sort of regulatory body is operating and there is no way a legit broker would offer you such. The spreads Stearn House`s platform showed were around and above 2 pips which is definitely not great and is not a good precondition for earning money.
No information is given about leverage. There are currently no leverage restrictions in Canada but the UK and EU have imposed a maximum of 1:30 while the US sticks to a maximum of 1:50. This is done because with high leverage come both great opportunities for-profit and great risks. Inexperienced traders should stir clear of brokers offering high leverage as this would most probably result in big losses.
It is also pretty disturbing that a broker would have such short Terms and Conditions that do not offer a lot of the vital information you would want to have when you are investing a big amount of money somewhere.
Stearn House DEPOSIT/WITHDRAWAL METHODS AND FEES
You can deposit money via credit or debit card, bank transfer and the payment system China Union Pay. We would advise against wiring any money to Stearn House as you would probably never see this money again.
Stearn House also informs you that they do not “provide any sort of refund or compensation if you are unable to access their services for any reason”. Once you have subscribed for those services, they cannot be terminated, they can only expire. In case you would like to terminate an account you would not be getting a refund. This is of course ridiculous when considering the type of scammers we are dealing with here and the amount of the initial deposit.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK?
Such scams work in a simple but effective way. You see a banner or an ad on the Internet and get redirected to the scammer’s website where you get all sorts of promises for earning money the fast and easy way. You get led on by fake license numbers, satisfied customer testimonials and grand words. So you provide your contact details – an email and a phone number.
The moment this happens the first stage of the scam comes into play. You get bombarded with phone calls and emails asking you for a deposit. With time, you might start seeing that you have actually earned a decent amount of money and start investing bigger sums. This is in fact a deliberate trick trying to milk you as much as possible before you figure out something is not quite right.
The problem emerges when you try to get access to that money. The scammers might come up with different reasons why that cannot happen like making up more and more additional taxes. They might claim you cannot draw your money because of some clause in their Terms and Conditions which is why you should always read those carefully and know what you are agreeing to. Finally, they might ask you to verify your account before you get access to your money by sending them your picture next to a personal document or proof of address – something legitimate brokers also do as soon as you open an account with them. But in case you are dealing with scammers, this is done just so they can prove that you are indeed their client. In this way, they can claim that you have invested all your money with them voluntarily and make it impossible for you to demand a chargeback later on.
WHAT TO DO IF SCAMMED?
You should contact your bank or credit/debit card provider right away and ask for assistance. If you have used a credit/debit card to deposit, you could file for chargeback within 540 days. In case you were using a cryptocurrency, there is virtually no way to get your money back. If you have given scammers access to your computer or your banking details, you should make sure to change any passwords right away. You can also contact authorities and try to inform as many people as possible about the scheme you fell victim to.
Finally, you should never trust any companies that promise you a quick way to get your money back. Such “recovery agents” might ask you for a fee to retrieve your investment and run off as soon as they have received that fee. Often enough, they are the same people that scammed you in the first place.