Beware! UK Alpha Fund 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.
UK Alpha Fund presents itself as a regulated broker with decades of experience. However, these claims are not at all convincing.
The website is extremely clunky and of low quality. The contradictions start right away – on the main page we first read that the broker has been operating since 1997, and a little further down it says 1988. The “About Us” section, on the other hand, claims 40 years of experience.
Despite its name, the UK Alpha Fund website is only available in Italian. However, the risk warning in the footer is in English, the account registration form and the client portal are also in English.
Verification confirmed that this is not the licensed broker it claims to be. We also detected some links to other fraudulent sites.
UK ALPHA FUND REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
According to the information on the website, behind it is a legal entity called UK Alpha Fund Limited, which is “authorized and regulated” by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA):
However, no licensed broker can be found on the regulator’s register with that name or reference number listed on the website:
UK Alpha Fund’s claims to be a regulated broker are an outright lie.
If you are eager to try your luck and skills in the financial markets, you should be careful and choose a broker that is truly licensed and supervised by a respected regulatory body such as the Financial Conduct Authority.
These brokers have to meet stringent requirements for financial stability and transparency of operations. 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.
UK ALPHA FUND TRADING SOFTWARE
While the UK Alpha Fund website is illustrated with stock images of trading platforms, there is no mention of specific software, nor is there a download link anywhere.
After registering an account and logging into the client portal we see a link to a “live webtrader” that redirects to a different domain – web-trader.online.
There we see only an imitation of a trading platform – the charts with current asset prices are taken from the TradingView website and have no trading functions. The separate buy and sell menu seems to be designed for binary options trading, not for CFDs, which is what UK Alpha Fund claims to be dealing with. Trading in binary options is also banned by the FCA because of the associated exploits and scams.
We have done reviews of other rogue websites using the same outsourced imitation trading platform, for example 22-Investus FX. It is possible that the same scammers are behind these websites.
Legitimate brokers offer clients a wide selection of trading software, including desktop, mobile apps and web-based platforms. The most widely used platforms in the industry are MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and 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.
UK ALPHA FUND TRADING CONDITIONS
All we find on the UK Alpha Fund website is a laconic description of an ECN trading account. According to this description the account can use EUR, USD or GBP, but in the registration form the only choice is EUR. The minimum deposit amount is listed as 250 EUR/USD/GBP.
There are plenty of legitimate brokers that offer micro accounts for beginner brokers with a minimum deposit of around 100 dollars.
According to the website, the leverage offered complies with The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and FCA requirements – a maximum of 1:30 for major currency pairs and lower levels for more volatile assets.
The dubious trading platform shows a spread of 0.7 pips, which is actually high for the alleged ECN account. These types of accounts usually have a zero spread but have a fixed commission.
There is no information about fees, commissions and other terms on the UK Alpha Fund website.
Instead, one can see statements that the UK Alpha Fund is engaged in something that is outside the realm of brokerage services – intermediation of investments in exchange traded funds. Specifically, the UK Alpha Fund claims to offer investments in ETFs related to legal marijuana businesses in North America:
UK ALPHA FUND DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
No information about payment methods and related terms and fees can be found on the main page of the website. There is a single option available in the deposit menu of the customer portal – a website called Larco Global:
At the time of writing this review this website has been taken down. An online search shows that in the past this domain has also been used by scammers posing as brokers.
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.