Beware! BDIMarkets 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.
BDIMarkets attempts to present itself as a regulated broker offering trading in a wide range of financial assets. However, fact checking quickly reveals these claims to be false.
BDIMarkets displays many symptoms of a typical fraudulent scheme and should be avoided.
BDIMARKETS REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
The first warning sign that this is not a legitimate business is the fact that nowhere is the name of the legal entity behind BDIMarkets listed – not on the main page of the website, nor in the Terms and Conditions and other legal documentation. Needless to say, it is not at all advisable to trust your money to an anonymous website.
To operate from this jurisdiction, a broker must be licensed by the Financial conduct Authority (FCA). As the BDIMarkets does not provide a company name or registration number, we could only search the regulator’s register for firms whose names contain some variation of “BDIMarkets”. We found nothing.
In the Frequently Asked Questions section one can see the statement that BDIMarkets is “is a licensed online broker, regulated under The International Financial Services Commission (IFSC)”. It is immediately obvious that something is wrong because the registration number is left blank:
Scammers like to use IFSC’s name, because it sounds impressive. But it’s actually the financial authority of the offshore zone Belize. There are no significant regulations for brokers there, apart from the minimum capital requirement to obtain a license. However, BDIMarkets is not among the websites registered by IFSC-licensed companies:
In the text of the Terms and Conditions we see another contradictory statement – that the agreement between the BDIMarkets and the client will be subject to the laws of Estonia. Not surprisingly, we do not find BDIMarkets among the brokers licensed by the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority.
There is no question that BDIMarkets is not a licensed and regulated broker as it claims. You should only trust legitimate brokers operating in one of the established financial centres like the UK, EU, USA or Australia. There, the activities of brokers are controlled by powerful 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.
BDIMARKETS TRADING SOFTWARE
On the BDIMarkets website, we can see the claim that the trading platform they offer is MetaTrader 4 (MT4) – the most popular solution in the industry. However, the link to download the software is empty.
After registering an account and logging into the client portal, a download link for MT4 is also nowhere to be found. Instead, there is a simplified webtrader that is not the web version of MT4. Here is what the platform looks like:
While it has the basic features of placing orders and customizing charts, this platform does not have advanced features like one-click trading or the ability to use Expert Advisor bots that can be found in MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and newer MetaTrader 5 (MT5). 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.
BDIMARKETS TRADING CONDITIONS
The BDIMarkets website describes five types of trading accounts. The minimum deposit for a Basic account is 2,500 USD – significantly more than the industry average. Most licensed brokers offer much more affordable options for novice traders. including micro accounts with a minimum deposit of as little as 100 USD.
No information about other basic trading parameters such as spread, leverage and commissions can be found on the website. On the trading platform one can see very low spread levels of 0.1 pip – this would be very competitive if BDIMarkets was a legitimate broker, which it is not.
The trading platform has a set leverage of 1:200. This in itself is proof that BDIMarkets could not be a licensed broker operating in the UK or any EU member state. High leverage creates the opportunity for more significant profit, but correspondingly increases the risk of sudden and excessive losses. All leading regulators therefore restrict leverage for retail traders. The FCA, like EU regulators, limits leverage to 1:30 for trading in major currency pairs and even lower levels for more volatile assets.
The only specific information in the account description is the welcome bonus offered. Bonuses, promotions and rewards programs are practices that are prohibited on regulated brokers.
BDIMARKETS DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
However, only credit/debit card and bank transfers are specified in the ‘payment methods’ section. The deposit menu in the customer portal is not active unless the customer’s identity is proven by attaching a copy of an ID. We were therefore unable to establish which methods BDIMarkets actually uses.
The minimum withdrawal amount specified in the website is 100 USD/EUR/GBP for bank wire and 50 currency units for other payment methods. Withdrawals are subject to a fee of 3.5% of the amount withdrawn, but not less than 30 USD. According to the Terms and Conditions, the first withdrawal has no fee if a Gold or Black account is used – although this is the only place in the website where “Black” account is mentioned.
There are trap clauses in the Terms and Conditions, which can often be seen on fraudulent websites. If the client has received a bonus, the withdrawal of any funds from their account is conditional on a minimum traded volume.
In this case, he must receive a certain number of “Trader Points” which are rewarded for trading. According to the example given in the Terms and Conditions, if you received a bonus of 100 USD, withdrawing funds would require you to trade 10 standard lots, or 1,000,000 currency units:
If you wish to withdraw all or part of your deposit without meeting these requirements, any profits will be removed from your account and “any losses shell be held liable by the customer” . The purpose of these clauses is to make it practically impossible to withdraw money from the account.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK
Stories of people getting rich from cryptocurrencies tempt many to try their luck in the financial markets. But you have to be very careful not to fall into the clutches of the many scammers lurking in the online space. These scammers only pose as brokers and lure you in with promises to take on the confusing aspects of investing for you.
If you make contact with such scammers they will first convince you to give them a small initial sum of a few hundred dollars. They may even fool you for a while that your investment is generating incredible profits to convince you to give them a larger amount. But your money won’t really be invested. And when you try to withdraw your supposed profits or even your deposit, you will find that it is impossible.
The scammers may tell you that all your investments have been lost by a sudden change in the market. Or they’ll point you to clauses hidden in their Terms and Conditions that say withdrawing your money is only possible after you meet impossibly high minimum trading volume requirements. And they can simply disappear because these scam sites hide behind fake names and offshore companies that are not subject to rules and regulations.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SCAMMED
If you find yourself a victim of scammers, you should inform the relevant authorities in your country and spread the word online to warn other potential victims. However, the chances of getting your money back are not high.
If you used a credit/debit card for the transactions, you could ask for a chargeback. However, such requests can be disputed if you have provided the fraudsters with proof of identity such as a copy of an ID. Under no circumstances should you trust people on the internet who claim they can recover your money for an upfront fee. These too are certainly scammers.