Beware! FXPLANB 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.
FXPLANB tries to present itself as “one of world’s leading financial institutions specializing in Forex and CFDs trading”. But it’s nothing of that sort. FXPLANB is a typical scam scheme masquerading as a broker. FXPLANB is actually in many ways identical to other scam websites we’ve reviewed, for example Extra Global Trading.
FXPLANB REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
If you go to a legitimate broker’s website you can expect detailed information about the legal status of the company that runs it, what licenses it has, which markets it operates in and what regulatory regimes it is subject to.
The FXPLANB does not provide any such information. There is not even a contact address. Nowhere on the website or the Terms and Conditions is the name of a legal entity mentioned. It doesn’t need to be said, but a broker who manages other people’s money cannot be anonymous.
However, the FXPLANB has attracted the attention of the authorities. In December 2021, the Italian regulator Commissione Nazionale per le Societa e la Borsa (CONSOB) issued a warning that this website was offering financial services without authorisation:
FXPLANB is clearly not the broker it portrays itself to be. If you are planning to start trading in the financial markets, you should be very careful not to fall into the clutches of such scammers. Make sure you choose a licensed broker that really works under the supervision of respected regulatory bodies like Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) or Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
As their customer you will enjoy a number of guarantees including negative balance protection and guarantee for your funds if the broker goes bankrupt, which goes up to EUR 20,000 in EU and 85,000 GBP in the UK. Regulations in the UK and EU include some important measures designed to improve investor protection and promote market integrity and transparency, such as transaction reporting. Regulated brokers are also required to segregate their operational funds from the client’s money.
FXPLANB TRADING SOFTWARE
FXPLANB claims to offer multiple trading software options, including a platform called Activ8, as well as mobile apps and a web-based platform. However, after registering an account and logging into the FXPLANB client portal, we find only a rather simplistic web trader. Here is how it looks like:
While the platform has the basic features for placing orders, customizing charts and application of technical indicators, it lacks the more advanced functionality found in the most widely used trading platforms in the industry, 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.
FXPLANB TRADING CONDITIONS
Three types of trading accounts – Micro, Standard and Premium – are mentioned on the FXPLANB website, with minimum deposits of 200 USD, 2,500 USD and 50,000 USD respectively. You could always turn to a legitimate broker, most of which offer favorable conditions for beginner traders, including starter accounts with a minimum deposit of 100 USD or even less.
The description of account types does not include specific values for key metrics such as leverage, spread and commissions. Leverage is only specified to be “floating” and Standard Account is stated to have a “static” spread.
The web platform has a leverage level of 1:10. EU and UK regulators allow levels up to 1:30 when trading major currency pairs. However, the spreads that can be seen in the trading platform are excessive – over 300 pips. In the industry, even levels of 3 pips are considered too high and disadvantageous to the trader, and typical levels are between 1 and 2 pips. So even if FXPLANB offered real trading, it would be impossible to generate profits under such conditions.
FXPLANB also promises “welcome bonus” of up to 50%. This in itself proves that FXPLANB could not be a licensed broker because all leading regulators prohibit brokers from using bonuses, promotions and similar practices.
The Terms and Conditions state that the bonus is withdrawable, but only upon fulfillment of high requirements for minimum traded volume – 30 times the amount of the bonus plus the deposit.
FXPLANB DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
The logos of popular payment methods such as Visa, Skrill, Neteller, AstroPay and WebMoney can be seen on the FXPLANB website, and the text of the Terms & Conditions mentions bank transfer and credit/debit cards. However, after setting up an account, it becomes clear that the only payment option available is the dubious NeoBanQ platform. This little known method has been used by a number of scam sites we have come across.
The deposit menu accepts a minimum amount of 200 USD. A minimum withdrawal amount of 250 USD is specified if a bank transfer is used and 100 USD with other methods. But as noted, bank transfer is not actually available.
Terms & Conditions states that “a levy of 10% of the withdrawal amount will be charged to any withdrawal from an account that has not executed more than 200 in turnover and/or from accounts that have not been verified”. It is not specified 200 what. Such ambiguity is typical of fraudulent schemes. This wording could mean, for example, 200 lots, i.e. 20 000 000 currency units. Scammers use such trap clauses to block any withdrawal requests.
In addition to this, there is a 10% fee charged to inactive accounts. One place on the website states that the account is considered inactive after 6 months, but another states a time limit of 3 months.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK
Scammers who promise easy money without any effort are nothing new, especially on the internet. But given the excitement around bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in recent years, malicious actors have run rampant more than ever, capitalizing not only on people’s desire to solve their financial woes with a magic wand, but also ignorance and misunderstanding of how blockchain and complex financial instruments actually work.
If your curiosity is stirred by one of the many flashy websites promising easy riches, and you provide your contacts, you will soon be contacted by skillful and persuasive scammers who will convince you to start with a relatively small and “risk-free” investment. If you agree to this, you will be transferred to even more skilled at convincing scammers, who will persuade you to invest even more. Any money you give to such people is money you are unlikely to get back.
Any attempt to withdraw deposits or alleged profits will be hampered by numerous and significant fees, as well as harsh and often prohibitive conditions written into the terms and conditions – such as high trading volume requirements, unexpected “taxes”, or withdrawal fees as high as 10% or even 20% of your funds.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SCAMMED
When you find yourself scammed and seek advice and help online, you are likely to receive offers from individuals and companies who promise to refund your money for a fee that you have to pay in advance. Don’t trust such offers or recommendations from anonymous commentators on the internet – this is also a well established scam.
The best chance to get at least some of your money back is to request a chargeback, but this applies only if the transfer is made via credit card. It is of course advisable to notify the relevant authorities of the fraudsters’ activities and to spread the word online to warn other people who may fall victim to the same scammers.