Beware! Astobull 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.
Astobull presents itself as a forex broker based in one of the leading global financial centers and offering favorable trading conditions for currencies, indices, commodities and other financial instruments. Closer inspection, however, reveals that these claims are not to be believed. Astobull is not a genuine broker but a poorly disguised scam scheme designed to cheat inexperienced people out of their money.
ASTOBULL REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
The first warning sign that we are not dealing with a legitimate business is that no company name is mentioned anywhere. Legitimate brokers are required to provide detailed information about their legal and regulatory status.
Astobull’s only contact information is an email and an address in the United States. This jurisdiction has particularly stringent requirements for brokers, including to maintain minimum net capital of 20,000,000 USD.
To operate as a forex broker in the United States, a company must be registered as a futures commission merchant and foreign exchange dealer with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and to be a member of the National Futures Association (NFA). There is no broker in the NFA database whose name contains “Astobull”:
Astobull’s brief terms and conditions state that the company’s logo and name are registered as trademarks in the United States and the United Kingdom. This wording means nothing in terms of regulation. However, we also checked the register of the UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We did not find a licensed broker with a similar name there either:
When investing in the financial markets, you should do so through a legitimate broker to avoid getting scammed. Depending on your location, it is advisable to choose a company that is regulated by an institution such as Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in US, Australian Securities and Exchanges Commission (ASIC), UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or some EU regulator like Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
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.
ASTOBULL TRADING SOFTWARE
The website claims that Astobull offers “desktop, web, and mobile platforms, designed for performance and built for all levels of investors worldwide”. However, after registering an account, it becomes apparent that Astobull does not have any trading platform. In the client portal, there is only a chart with current cryptocurrency prices.
The scammers behind this website are obviously counting on fooling people who have no experience or knowledge of financial markets.
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.
ASTOBULL TRADING CONDITIONS
Astobull’s website does not contain any information about the alleged trading conditions. There is no mention of minimum deposit, leverage, commissions and other basic trading parameters. The spread is only stated to be “tight”. There is also no description of different types of trading accounts that are usually offered by legitimate brokers.
When registering an account, agreement to the Terms and Conditions must be noted. The link to this document leads to a subpage “/public” that is not visible from the index page of the website. There we find a description of “investment plans”:
These plans have nothing to do with trading financial instruments and promise impossibly high returns. This again shows that the Astobull is a scam aimed at people who are inexperienced and likely to believe such fantastic promises.
ASTOBULL DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
In the hidden subpage we also find a FAQ section. There it is stated that Astobull uses the following payment methods: PayPal, Wire Transfer, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Binance Coin.
However, there is only one option in the deposit menu – Bitcoin.
Scammers prefer cryptocurrencies because these transactions are not subject to refunds. While there are some legitimate brokers that accept Bitcoin, they do so alongside other transparent payment methods such as credit/debit card, bank transfer or popular e-wallets like PayPal, Skrill, or Sofort.
The minimum amount that can be deposited is 1 USD. If you are interested in legitimate brokers that provide the opportunity to trade with very low deposits, check out this list.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK
Many people have a desire to invest in the financial markets but lack the necessary knowledge and experience. This makes them a potential victim of the many internet scammers posing as brokers and investment intermediaries. These types of scams have exploded alongside the cryptocurrency boom.
If you trust such a website and give them your personal information, you will be contacted by experienced scammers who will entice you with promises of easy profits. The scammers usually offer to take over all aspects of investing for you, sometimes even prompting you to install remote access software on your personal computer. After investing an initial low amount, they will convince you that you are already making incredible profits and urge you to invest more.
But you will never get the promised profits, nor will you be able to get your money back. If you want to withdraw funds from your account, you will find that you have suddenly lost everything in the market, or that you have to meet impossibly high traded volume requirements, or that you have to pay huge fees. It is also possible that fraudsters simply disappear because they hide behind fake names and shell companies in offshore areas that are not subject to any control and regulation.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SCAMMED
One of the few options to get at least some of your money back in such a situation is to ask for a chargeback. But this is only possible if you have used a credit or debit card for the transaction. Scammers typically use cryptocurrencies or dubious e-wallets that make it impossible to get your money back.
Under no circumstances should you trust people and websites that promise to magically refund your lost money for an upfront fee. This is also a well established scam. You may even fall victim to the same scammers again.