Beware! Upswingtrade 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.
Upswingtrade presents itself as a licensed broker operating in one of the leading global financial centres. However, fact checking reveals that it is not a broker, but a scam scheme designed to deceive people looking for ways to make money online. Upswingtrade is a prime example of why we should always check online claims carefully, especially when our money is on the line.
UPSWINGTRADE REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
Upswingtrade provides a UK contact address. Company named Investment Funds Direct Limited is listed as the owner of the website.
To operate from within the UK, a broker must be licensed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). On the UK regulator’s website, we find a warning that the Upswingtrade is a type of scam known as a “clone” and is illegally using the details of a legitimate company:
But the information available on the Upswingtrade website is also sufficient to reveal that this is not the regulated broker it claims to be. If we read the Terms and Conditions carefully, we find that the agreement between the customer and Upswingtrade “shall be construed and enforced in accordance with and shall be governed by the law of Marshall Islands”:
The Marshall Islands is an offshore zone with no financial regulator. There it is also possible to incorporate a company online without even setting foot in the country. This makes the Marshall Islands a perfect base for financial fraudsters.
When choosing a broker through which to invest in the financial markets, you should not only make sure that all the information required by law is available, but also that this information is true. Always check that the company is indeed on the records of the specified regulator and that the domain used is among those officially approved for the particular broker.
There are many advantages to working with some of the legitimate brokers that actually operate from established financial hubs like the UK. These brokers have to meet stringent requirements for financial stability and transparency of operations imposed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 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.
UPSWINGTRADE TRADING SOFTWARE
Upswingtrade claims to use a web version of the world’s most popular trading software, MetaTrader 4 (MT4). In reality, however, the Upswingtrade has another web platform with more limited capabilities. Here is what 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 desktop versions of MT4 and the newer MT5, which are offered by most licensed brokers. 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.
UPSWINGTRADE TRADING CONDITIONS
There are five types of trading accounts described on the Upswingtrade website. The minimum deposit for a Basic account is 250 GBP and the next level is 10,000 GBP. In comparison, many legitimate brokers allow the creation of a starter account with amounts around and below 100 USD.
The stated spread for a Basic account is 3 pips, which is not a competitive level at all. In the industry, a spread above 2 pips is considered too disadvantageous for the trader.
The leverage for different account types ranges from 1:20 to 1:200. This is further evidence that an Upswingtrade could not be a genuine broker operating in the UK. The FCA, like EU regulators, limits leverage to 1:30. 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.
Upswingtrade also allegedly offered bonuses, another practice banned by all leading regulators, including those in the UK.
UPSWINGTRADE DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
The website claims that the payment methods used are Visa cards, bank wire transfer and cryptocurrencies. Registering for an account with the Upswingtrade is not an automatic process and your request must first be approved. Due to this, we were unable to create an account and verify which payment methods are actually used by the Upswingtrade. As far as this is a typical scam website, we could assume that it follows the usual scamming practices and uses only cryptocurrencies.
Scammers prefer cryptocurrencies because these transactions are not subject to refunds. If you are interested in licensed brokers that accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, take a look at this list.
In the text of the Terms and Conditions we find another trap typical for scammers. If the account has received some bonus, the withdrawal of funds becomes conditional on fulfilling high requirements for minimum traded volume – 30 times the amount of the deposit plus the bonus. Fraudsters use such impossible to fulfil clauses to block withdrawal requests.
The only fee specified in the Terms and Conditions is a 30 USD monthly fee for accounts inactive for more than a year. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other hidden fees and commissions.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK
Trading in financial instruments is a risky business even for experienced investors using the services of reliable brokers. For newcomers, there is also the risk of being deceived by the many scam websites posing as brokerages. These websites are operated by skilled and cunning scammers who lure you with promises of easy profits. Usually these scammers promise to take care of all the bits and pieces of investment for you, but many even use real trading platforms to fool you that your money is really being invested. After investing an initial low amount, they will convince you that you are already making incredible profits and urge you to invest more.
But your money is not invested and you will never see the promised returns. When you ask to withdraw even a portion of your money, you will be surprised by impossible to meet minimum trading volume requirements and hidden fees that amount to tens of percentages of your funds. Scammers hide behind fake names and offshore companies that are uncontrolled and unregulated, so it will be impossible to hold them accountable.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SCAMMED
If you find yourself in a similar situation, you can request a chargeback. However, this option is only possible if you have used a credit or debit card for the transactions. Visa and MasterCard allow this to be done within 540 days. But if you have provided the scammers with proof of identity, such as an ID or proof of address, these claims can be disputed. Bank wire transfer or cryptocurrency transactions are non-refundable.
In any case, you should inform the relevant authorities in your country about the activities of the scammers and warn other potential victims online. You should not trust offers to return your money for an upfront fee. This is also a known scam and all testimonials from satisfied customers are fake.