Beware! SvoFX 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.
SvoFX puts up a facade of fake transparency and legitimacy. They claim to be a decent, regulated broker when in reality their regulations are pretty unclear and their terms – anything but transparent. Vanuatu, Australia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and even Japan – there is no way to be sure where this broker is located. Such companies are not to be trusted with funds and you should think carefully before depositing anything with them – as your investment would be in grave danger.
SvoFX REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
The question of SvoFX’s regulation is an interesting one. The broker has provided a registered address on St. Vincent and the Grenadines – which is a bit of a red flag since the local financial regulator does not regulate forex brokers. Additionally, we don’t see that address for the first time – as we have reviewed a few others scam brokers registered at the exact same location.
But we were in for a surprise – SvoFX does not actually claim to be licensed by a regulator in St. Vincent and the Grenadines – they have provided a license issued by the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission.
The company did show up in the VFSC register as SVO CAPITAL LIMITED. This means the broker did manage to meet some sort of minimum requirements the VFSC imposes – for example, maintaining a capital of at least $50 000. This is a very humble amount considering what sort of minimum capital brokers in other countries have to prove in order to obtain a license – €730 000 in the EU and the UK, A$1 million in Australia and as much as $20 million in the US. SVOFX Ltd. is supposed to be some sort of branch of SVO CAPITAL LIMITED but SVOFX Ltd. themselves are only registered on St. Vincent and the Grenadines and therefore remain unlicensed.
When looking through the Terms and Conditions though, we were surprised to learn that SvoFX supposedly follows the laws of Australia and falls under the jurisdiction of ASIC. The broker was, of course, nowhere to be found in the regulator’s register – we only found companies with similar names but they were not even brokers.
It is also weird that parts of the SvoFX website were only available in Japanese.
So what we have established is that SvoFX is as anonymous as they come. There is no way to know for sure where this company is situated, let alone who the people behind it are.
Make sure to choose your broker among the ones regulated by a respected financial authority like the FCA, ASIC or CySEC. The mentioned minimum capital requirement is far from the only condition that has to be fulfilled in order for a broker to obtain a license. Client money has to be kept in segregated accounts – which speeds up withdrawals and guarantees that the broker cannot reinvest your deposits elsewhere. You are also provided with negative balance protection – which means you cannot lose more money than you already have in your account. Be wise and work with someone following the law – otherwise, you might get shamelessly robbed.
SvoFX TRADING SOFTWARE
SvoFX promised to give us access to the well-known and well-liked platform MetaTrader 4 as well as a mobile app meant for copy trading. But as it was impossible to register an account with them, we could not try the software they claim to use.
MT4 is a more than alright choice if you are looking for a good trading platform. You can easily open an account with a legitimate broker offering MT4 and take advantage of the many features it offers – from the trademark Expert Advisors to a market where you can purchase various trading apps and add-ons.
SvoFX TRADING CONDITIONS
We could not actually see what SvoFX offers in a demo account so we have to trust their word on that. The minimum deposit for a Micro account with them is just $5 but supposedly you should be able to open an ECN account for $100. This is surprising because only the most renowned brokers can offer such account types – ones that grant direct access to the market and let you see how your own offers affect prices. We highly doubt somebody like SvoFX could actually open such an advanced account type for us.
The spreads are supposed to start from 1 pip for the usual accounts and 0 pips for the ECN one but we could not check that ourselves.
The leverage offered is 1:100 – which is far too high considering that the permitted leverage in Europe is currently 1:30. The restrictions exist to protect you – high leverage is a gamble and can lead to varying results. Big profits are one possibility, enormous losses – another. So such high leverage rates are currently not available to retail clients who rarely have sufficient experience and capital to manage high leverage.
SvoFX DEPOSIT/WITHDRAWAL METHODS AND FEES
There was an interesting inconsistency regarding deposit and withdrawal methods. We should be able to deposit via Visa, bank transfer, various cryptocurrencies and JCB (Japan Credit Bureau). But the only withdrawal method available was bank transfer – when brokers would usually only let you withdraw money in the way you have deposited it.
SvoFX does not hesitate to offer you a few types of bonuses – including a $100 bonus for following their Twitter which is only in Japanese. That is a red flag since no licensed European or Australian broker is currently allowed to make such offers.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK?
The way such scams work is usually the same.
You are browsing and you see a banner or an ad for the scammer’s website promising you enormous profit. So you take a look at the website, think it looks good, and register – after all, who would not want to earn money so easily and quickly. And the scammers promise to make an experienced trader out of you in no time. The moment they acquire your contact info, you will start receiving emails and phone calls asking you to deposit. If you do, you will probably see you are making a lot of money soon – a trick aiming to make you invest more.
Time passes, you have made good money and now you want to withdraw. This is the moment the scammers will start making up wild reasons to delay that withdrawal – usually additional taxes. At some point you will start figuring out something is wrong and at that exact moment, the scammers will stop answering your phone calls.
WHAT TO DO IF SCAMMED?
Remain calm and don’t trust any so-called “recovery agents” that say they could retrieve your money if you only paid a small fee. Often enough, these are the same people that scammed you in the first place and even if they are not – that is a whole different type of scam aimed at desperate victims. Your “recovery agent” will disappear as soon as they receive the fee.
What you could do is ask your bank or credit card provider for assistance depending on your deposit method. With credit and debit cards you can file for chargeback within 540 days. Cryptocurrency transactions are non-refundable so don’t trust brokers only offering that payment method. Still, be prepared for the worst since such situations are rarely resolved in a happy manner. If you have verified your account, the scammers might use that as a basis for revoking your claim.
Still, make sure to change any passwords or other sensitive information scammers have received. Notify the authorities and spread the word – in your acquaintance circle and online. You can save a lot of people from the awful situation you might have found yourself in.