Investarea.com review – 5 things you should know about Investarea

Investarea.com review – 5 things you should know about Investarea

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Beware! Investarea.com is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.

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Investarea claims to be a forex and CFDs broker operating in some of the biggest global markets. However, closer inspection reveals that the website is full of false and misleading information. The people behind Investarea are undoubtedly scammers and you should never trust them with your money.

INVESTAREA.COM REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS

The discrepancy surrounding the Investarea starts with the legal entity behind the website. On the main page, one can see a misspelled company name – “Invest Area Ltd Pvt. Ltd”:

However, another company, Investarea Ltd, which is said to be based in the UK, is listed in the ‘Legal’ section. In the same section there are links to websites of fake regulators:

One of them, Markets Financial Authority, claims to be the UK’s financial regulator. However, the name of the real regulator in this country is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). And there is no licensed broker on the FCA’s register with the name Investarea Ltd:

The second fake regulator is named “SFINS Financial Securities” and poses as the financial authority in Switzerland. The real regulator in Switzerland is the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). For the third fake license, Investarea has used the real name of the German regulator BaFin, but the link leads to a domain different from that of the institution.

The text of the Investarea’s Terms and Conditions, which does not mention the name of a specific company, states that “this agreement and the relationship between the parties shall be governed by, and interpreted in accordance with, the laws of Australia”:

In order for this statement to be true, the Investarea must be licensed by the Australian Securities and Exchanges Commission (ASIC). However, in the records of this regulator cannot be found companies with the names listed on the Investarea website.

Investarea is obviously lying about being a regulated broker, with scammers even setting up fake regulator websites to mislead potential victims.

If you have decided to trade in the financial markets, you should only trust legitimate brokers which are indeed licensed and supervised by regulatory bodies such as Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Australian Securities and Exchanges Commission (ASIC). Clients of these brokers receive protections such as negative balance protection and segregation of the client’s funds from the broker’s funds.

In the EU and the UK, brokers must also participate in guarantee schemes that cover a certain amount of the trader’s investment if the broker becomes insolvent. These guarantees amount to up to 20 000 EUR in the EU and 85 000 GBP in the UK. However, the likelihood of such a bankruptcy is low because regulators also have significant net capital requirements that companies must maintain – EUR 730 000 in UK and Cyprus, AUD 1000 000 in Australia and at least 20 million USD in the United States.

INVESTAREA.COM TRADING SOFTWARE

In an effort to give itself the appearance of a legitimate broker, Investarea also offers a real trading platform – MetaTrader 4 (MT4), which is the most widely used in the industry. Here’s what this software looks like:

It is advisable to use the services of one of the many legitimate brokers that offer MT4 or the newer and more advanced MT5. These platforms have established themselves as leaders 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.

INVESTAREA.COM TRADING CONDITIONS

The Investarea website describes four types of trading accounts – Micro, Standard, Premium and VIP, with a minimum deposit of 250 USD or EUR. However, the FAQ section mentions another starter account, Basic, with a minimum deposit of 200 EUR. You can always turn to the many legitimate brokers that offer accounts for beginner traders with a low minimum deposit.

The leverage offered ranges from 1:100 to 1:500, and curiously, the highest leverage, which carries the highest risk, is assigned to the Micro account. Such levels far exceed those allowed in all the markets in which Investarea claims to operate. High leverage allows for higher profits, but also significantly increases the risk of sudden and excessive losses. This is why the  regulators in the EU, UK and Australia limit leverage for retail traders to 1:30.

A spread of 1 pip is specified for Micro and Standard accounts. In the MT4 platform you can see a spread of about 1.5 pips for a Micro account. The spread for Premium and VIP accounts is 0.6 and 0.2 pips, but there is also a commission of 5 EUR for a standard lot. These levels are not far off the industry average, but since the Investarea are outright scammers, these values mean practically nothing.

Investarea  also claims to offer bonuses to customers – another thing that is banned by regulators and exposes this website as fraudulent.

INVESTAREA.COM DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES

Only some unknown and very questionable payment methods are available in the deposit menu – Avalanchpay, PayPound, GR8Pay and Praxis. Some of these methods are also used by other scam sites we have reviewed.

Legitimate brokers typically offer clients a wide choice of transparent payment methods, including bank transfer, credit/debit cards and established e-wallets such as PayPal, Skrill or Neteller.

The Investarea does not list specific withdrawal fees. However, the text of the Terms and Conditions states that any money in the account that is not directly deposited, including any trading profits, is not considered client money and unless explicitly agreed, these “non-deposited funds are not available for withdrawal”.

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.

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