Beware! AlphaTradePlus 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.
AlphaTradePlus has a slightly flashier website than most scammers and, at a first glance, seems to provide relatively good conditions and a great trading platform. However, this broker is completely unlicensed and anonymous, does not actually own the trading platform they claim to offer and will tangle you into sketchy clauses that will prevent you from withdrawing your money. Avoid AlphaTradePlus at all costs, it will save you a lot of trouble.
AlphaTradePlus REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
AlphaTradePlus has provided an address in the UK but claims to be based in Basel, Switzerland. However, they claim to be regulated by lebrn.com – a sketchy website created with the aim of providing cover for scam schemes that we have encountered in relation to other scammers. This is no legitimate financial authority – in order to legally be offering financial services in the UK, a broker has to be licensed by the FCA. Things are even more complicated in Switzerland – only banks are able to offer forex and CFD trading there. AlphaTradePlus is definitely not a Swiss bank and they did not show up anywhere in the FCA register. To make matters worse, the French financial regulator, Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), has issued a warning on this broker which should be more than enough to convince you that they are scammers.
The only way to be sure that your investment is in good hands is to enlist the services of a broker actually regulated in the UK or the EU. Such brokers are obligated to keep your money in segregated accounts separate from their own funds – this makes it impossible for the broker to use your deposits for their own financial operations and speeds up withdrawals. UK and EU brokers also participate in compensation schemes so if one of them becomes insolvent, their clients can receive compensation of up to €20 000 in the EU and £85 000 in the UK. Negative balance protection is mandatory – your losses cannot ever exceed the size of your investment. Finally, all European brokers must maintain a minimum capital of €730 000 – this money serves as proof that the broker is financially stable and cannot be used for their daily business.
AlphaTradePlus TRADING SOFTWARE
AlphaTradePlus provided us with a download link to the well-known MetaTrader 4. The problem is that the license for MT4 did not belong to this broker but to another one – FXtoall, a company registered on the Marshall Islands.
This means that AlphaTradePlus is using someone else’s platform while having none of their own.
If you want to trade on the tried-and-true MT4, do so with a licensed broker. The platform is indeed great and offers both intuitive interface, and many functions and features you would not be able to find or more simplistic (and cheaper) platforms. Try out the software’s famous Expert Advisors, develop your own trading bots and indicators, try out strategies in a demo account or through back-testing, set up customizable signals, or subscribe to those set by other people. The possibilities are endless but don’t just put your trust in scammers like AlphaTradePlus who are just using MT’s spotless reputation for their personal gain.
Still, this is what a typical MT4 terminal looks like:
AlphaTradePlus TRADING CONDITIONS
AlphaTradePlus claims that their minimum deposit amount for a basic account is $250 – which is a bit too much considering that this is more of an upper limit for most legitimate brokers. Many brokers would open an account for anywhere between $10 and $100 but there are those who offer Micro account – so you would able to invest just $1.
We were not able to locate the leverage settings in the broker’s client area but AlphaTradePlus claims to provide you with leverage of between 1:80 and 1:200 on the Starter account and as much as 1:600 on more advanced accounts. This cemented our conviction that this could not be a UK or EU-licensed brokers – since there are leverage restrictions in all of Europe that ban brokers from offering anything higher than 1:30 to retail clients.
Finally, AlphaTradePlus claimed that their spreads start from 0.2 pips on the Starter account – and we actually got 0.1 pips in the platform which is amazingly thigh. But since this is not the broker’s own MT4, you cannot be sure that you will actually be able to trade with such spreads. And you should keep in mind that scammers often manipulate platforms to make you believe that their offer is great when in reality, you would not be able to turn any profit because your deposits will disappear as soon as you invest.
AlphaTradePlus DEPOSIT/WITHDRAWAL METHODS AND FEES
You are supposed to be able to deposit with AlphaTradePlus via Visa/MastrerCard, bank transfer and the web payment system OKPAY. At least these were the logos we saw on the broker’s website and in their platform. In reality, we were not able to deposit at all before our account got verified. As did not intend to provide such scammers with any personal information (and you should not either), we did not manage to see what payment methods were actually available.
AlphaTradePlus offers bonuses – which once again proves that the broker could not be based in the UK or the EU since bonuses are banned under all European jurisdictions. However, scammers often offer such and attach sketchy clauses to them in order to prevent you from withdrawing from your account. That is also the case here – no non-deposited funds or any profits made on account of them can be withdrawn.
Most scammers usually mention some sort of turnover you would have to reach before withdrawing but it seems as AlphaTradePlus would not let you withdraw the bonus or the profits made on account of it as a whole. The problem is nobody can say which profits were made on account of the bonus and which – because of your own money. Some scammers go even further and define any funds that are not your deposits as non-deposited funds – including all profits. We cannot say if this is the case here – the Terms and Conditions did not elaborate – but it does not really matter – you will definitely not be able to get access to your money because of this clause.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK?
The weird thing is that such scams are never very imaginative but they seem to trick a lot of people – you see an ad on the Internet for a broker’s website and decide to check their website out. Then you start thinking to yourself “Man, that actually sounds great, I should maybe register an account to find out what they have to offer.”
Once the scammers have received your contact details, they won’t leave you alone before you deposit – and with time, they will start asking for bigger and bigger sums. You will probably see that you have turned unbelievable profit in no time so you will keep transferring money – just know that it is fairly easy for platforms to be manipulated. At some point of course, you would want to withdraw and this is where it gets complicated. All sorts of clauses in the Terms and Conditions and additional fees will show up – the scammers will try to delay your withdrawal and milk you as much as possible. By the time you figure out something is wrong, your “broker” will be long gone – with your money.
WHAT TO DO IF SCAMMED?
Be prepared that happy endings are not very likely and the chances of you seeing your money again are not big. That is why prevention is key – you should always read Terms and Conditions carefully and make sure that your broker is legitimate by checking if they are actually licensed.
If you got scammed, there are still things you could do. Notify the authorities in your country and share your story with as many people as possible – this way, they would know to avoid such types of scams. Change all passwords that you gave the scammers access to. If you have deposited with a credit or debit card, ask your card provider for assistance – you could get a chargeback within 540 days with both Visa and MasterCard. Bank transfers are a bit harder to reverse but that is still not impossible.
Finally, don’t trust anyone trying to pass as a recovery agent and offering to retrieve your money for a small fee – this is just another type of scam, usually conducted by the same people that robbed you in the first place.