Beware! Meta-Traders 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.
Meta-Traders presents itself as a multi award-winning broker which provides its services to traders “all around the world”. A closer inspection, however, quickly reveals that this is just an imitation of a broker, behind whom fraudsters are surely hiding.
META-TRADERS REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
Licensed brokers are required to provide clear information on their websites about which legal entity runs the business, where it is based and what regulatory regimes it is subject to.
On the Meta-Traders website such information is either missing or contradictory. The footer of the website lists the company Meta-Traders Markets Incorporated . However, the text of the Terms and Conditions refers to another company, Meta-Traders LTD.
To operate in the U.S. a broker must be a member of the National Futures Association (NFA). However, Meta-Traders is not on their register:
When registering an account you should check that you agree to the legal documents of a completely different company – Vantage International Group. This name is similar to an offshore company of Australian broker Vantage – Vantage International Group Limited.
But it doesn’t look like this broker has anything to do with the Meta-Traders website. The link to the legal documents in the registration form is blank. Many elements of the Meta-Traders website appear to be copied from other sites.
The Terms and Conditions do not explicitly mention where the company behind Meta-Traders is based, but there are references to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This is an offshore zone that does not regulate the activities of brokerage firms.
Тhe Financial Services Authority (FSA) of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has repeatedly issued warnings on this issue, with the latest such warning dated 23 June 2021. It clearly states that the agency “does not issue any licenses to carry on the business of FOREX Trading or Brokerage or Binary Options Trading nor does the FSA “Regulate, Monitor, Supervise or License” International Business Companies which engage in such activities”. So if you see a broker that claims to be regulated by FSA in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, there is a big chance that you are dealing with scammers.
If you want to trade without being scammed, you can turn to some of the legitimate brokers that actually operate from established financial hubs like the UK. These brokers have to meet strict requirements for financial stability and transparency of operations imposed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 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. These brokers are also required to keep their clients’ money segregated from their own operating funds in separate bank accounts.
META-TRADERS TRADING SOFTWARE
Meta-Traders claims to offer three trading platforms, Meta Trader 4 (MT4) and Meta Trader 5 (MT5), which are the most popular in the industry, as well as cTrader.
The chart is taken from the TradingView website and shows only current prices of selected assets, therefore it cannot be used for trading. The “buy” and “sell” buttons bring up a menu for placing an order, which is also an imitation and is completely non-functional.
If you have decided to start trading, you can choose one of the many legitimate brokers that really offer advanced trading solutions such as MT5 or the still very popular MT4. These platforms have established themselves as industry standard because they offer a wide range of features, including a wide variety of options for customization, multiple account usage, designing and implementing custom scripts for automated trading and backtesting trade strategies.
META-TRADERS TRADING CONDITIONS
Meta-Traders claims to offer three types of accounts – Micro, PRO and ECN. They are tied to the three trading platforms – MT4, MT5 and cTrader respectively. As already noted, these platforms are not actually available. There is also no choice for a different account type when registering.
There is a “recommended” minimum deposit of USD 100 for a Miro and ECN account, and USD 500 for a PRO account. There are many legitimate brokers that offer accounts for beginner traders with a minimum deposit of USD 100 or even less.
The spread stated is very attractive – 0.4 pips for Micro account, 0.2 for Pro and 0.0 for ECN. However, these values mean nothing, as Meta-Traders obviously do not offer real trading. As evidence of the latter, the main page of the website shows a “current spread” that is significantly higher:
MetaTraders claims to take no commissions, even for the ECN account, which is not realistic. At legitimate brokers, zero spreads on ECN accounts are usually compensated with fixed fees.
The leverage for all accounts is 1:500. These are levels that cannot be seen at regulated brokers. High leverage increases profit opportunities but also increases the risk of excessive losses. This is why regulators in the EU and the UK are limiting leverage for retail traders to 1:30. In the US, the maximum limit is 1:50.
Meta-Traders also claims to offer deposit bonuses of up to 100%. All leading regulators ban brokers from using bonuses and promotions.
META-TRADERS DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
In the deposit menu of Meta-Traders four options can be seen – the cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum, the e-wallet PerfectMoney and Bank Transfer. However, the only active method is Bitcoin – selecting any of the other methods redirects to support:
While there are legitimate brokers that accept Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies as the only payment option is a big red flag. Scammers prefer cryptocurrencies because transfers with them are difficult to trace and non-refundable.
Meta-Traders Terms and Conditions state that “the company has right to ask for fees relating to tax, account upgrade, audits and maintenance charges according the what affects the client’s trade portfolio”. However, nowhere is the exact amount and specific terms of these fees specified.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK
With all the buzz surrounding skyrocketing prices of cryptocurrencies, many people are starting to consider investing in the financial markets as a bid to improve their fortunes. Scammers on the internet have taken notice of that and take advantage of the ignorance of the general public by creating countless websites posing as brokers. These websites offer no real brokerage services and only deceive people into believing that their money is really being invested.
If you come across such a scam website and give out your contacts, you will be contacted by experienced scammers who will convince you that they can take on all the frighteningly complex aspects of investing for you. But you will never get any real profits, nor will you be able to get back the money you deposited. The terms and conditions of these websites are riddled with clauses that make withdrawing funds from your account unfeasible – for example, extremely high minimum trading volume requirements or hefty fees of 10%, 20% or even more of the amount.
Scammers hide behind fake addresses and names and operate through offshore companies that are not subject to regulation and scrutiny. So even if all the withdrawal requirements are met, they may simply disappear and move on to their next fraudulent scheme.
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.