Beware! Markets F1 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.
Markets F1 claims to be “one of the leading forex brokers” and to offer total transparency “with no hidden charges or gimmicky tactics”. But even minimal scrutiny reveals that this is not true.
Markets F1 is a typical scam scheme and it is directly linked to other known scam websites. This is not a legitimate broker and you should not trust it with your money.
MARKETS F1 REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
Legitimate brokers are required to provide clear information on what licences they hold and what regulatory regimes they are subject to. The Markets F1 website does not even state the legal entity behind it. Terms and conditions and other legal documentation are nowhere to be found. Registering an account requires agreeing to a generic “privacy note” which also fails to mention a company name.
A claim can be seen on the website that Markets F1 is regulated by an unspecified “Financial Commission” and provides guarantees for customers’ money. However, this claim does not stand up to scrutiny. It is also noteworthy that another brand is mentioned instead of Markets F1 at this location on the website – MTrading:
To operate from the UK, a broker must be licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). There is no broker in the database with the name Markets F1, but there is a company with a similar name, F1markets Ltd. This broker used to be based in the UK but has since moved to Cyprus. However, the official website of this company is different from that of Markets F1.
Apparently Markets F1 is employing a familiar scam scheme to use a name that resembles that of a legitimate broker.
If you want to trade on the financial markets without being scammed, you need to make sure that you really choose some of the legitimate brokers that actually operate from established financial hubs like the UK. These brokers have to meet stringent 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.
MARKETS F1 TRADING SOFTWARE
The Markets F1 website states that a web version of MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is used. However, after registering an account you get credentials for the newer version of the software, MetaTrader 5 (MT5). There is no webtrader in the client portal and the client account is referred to as “MT4 account”. However, the software that can be downloaded from there is actually MT5.
But the inconsistencies do not stop there. The MT5 platform is actually configured for another fake broker we’ve reviewed – Ibell Markets:
The login details provided by Markets F1 are accepted by the Ibell Markets platform, so there is no doubt that these are different projects by the same scammers. Here’s what the MT5 platform looks like:
If you want to take advantage of MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 features, you can use the services of one of the many legitimate brokers that offer this software. These platforms have established themselves as industry standard because they offer a wide range of features, including a variety of options for customization, multiple account usage, designing and implementing custom scripts for automated trading and backtesting trade strategies.
MARKETS F1 TRADING CONDITIONS
Markets F1 website describes three types of trading accounts – Standard, Premium and ECN. The minimum deposit for a Standard account is 250 USD. There are many legit brokers that offer accounts for beginner traders with a deposit of 100 USD or even less.
The leverage offered ranges from 1:200 to 1:1000, and contrary to logic, the highest level, which carries the most significant risk, is designated for the Standard account. This is further evidence that Markets F1 could not be a licensed broker operating from the UK, as the FCA, like EU regulators, limits leverage for retail traders to 1:30. High leverage allows for greater profits, but at the same time increases the risk of sudden and excessive losses.
The spread stated in the website is 1.3 pips for Standard, 1 for Premium and 0 for ECN account. In the MT5 platform, 0 pip levels can be seen. This corresponds to typical industry levels, but since Markets F1 is not a true broker, these values mean nothing.
Markets F1 also claims that there are no trading commissions on any of the accounts, which is not realistic – the zero or near-zero spread on ECN accounts is usually offset by a fixed commission.
MARKETS F1 DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
The Markets F1 website states that a number of payment methods are accepted such as Skrill, Neteller, PerfectMoney, WebMoney and Bitcoin. There are also stated terms for some of them – a 1% deposit fee with most methods except Bitcoin and bank transfer, and a minimum deposit of 5 USD with electronic payments and 100 USD with bank transfer.
In the website’s main page a minimum amount of 50 USD is specified for withdrawals with all methods, with no fees. However, the client portal states that the minimum withdrawal amount is 10 USD.
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.