Beware! Stock 247 Traders 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.
The Stock 247 Traders website assures us that it is a “transparent forex broker”. At very first glance it could indeed pass for a somewhat legitimate broker. A closer inspection, however, quickly reveals that this is not a real broker at all, but an anonymous scam website using familiar schemes to fool people without enough experience in financial markets. It is in your best interest to stay away from Stock 247 Traders.
STOCK 247 TRADERS REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
Stock 247 Traders claims that it “fully complies with the strict financial regulations” set out by the jurisdictions in which this supposed broker is regulated. The first obvious problem with this claim is that the Stock 247 Traders presents itself as licensed in two offshore areas where there are no strict regulations at all – the Cayman Islands and Vanuatu.
Brokers in these two jurisdictions must still be registered with the relevant financial regulators and meet some minimum capital requirements. But neither “Stock 247 Traders” nor the name of the company that is listed as the owner of the website, S-247-T Limited, can be found in the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) and Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC) databases.
Stock 247 Traders also claims to be based in the UK Even if it had licences from the offshore areas mentioned, which it clearly does not, this would not entitle it to operate in the UK. A broker must be authorised by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for this purpose. But we found nothing on this regulator’s register of either Stock 247 Traders or S-247-T Limited. On the website, we also see a claim that Stock 247 Traders is offering crypto CFD trading, a practice that is banned by the FCA.
If you want to trade on financial markets without being scammed, you can turn to 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.
STOCK 247 TRADERS TRADING SOFTWARE
Any illusion of legitimacy disappears when we get to the most important trading tool – software. The website claims that Stock 247 Traders uses the two most popular platforms amongst the world’s brokers – MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5).
However, after registering an account and logging into the client portal, it becomes apparent that Stock 247 Traders does not have any trading platform. There are only simple charts with current asset prices and something called a “Demo Trader”:
This demo trader seems to be designed for binary options trading and not for forex and CFD trading. Binary options trading is also banned by the FCA and many other regulators. Only three assets are available in this Demo Trader – the EUR/USD currency pair and shares of Apple and Gazprom. This is a setup we have seen with other fake brokers.
Most legitimate brokers do offer clients MetaTrader 4 and/or MetaTrader 5. 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.
STOCK 247 TRADERS TRADING CONDITIONS
The Stock 247 Traders website describes two types of accounts – STP with a spread of 1.4 pips and ECN with a raw spread and a commission of 3 USD per side per lot. In theory, these are favorable terms, but since Stock 247 Traders doesn’t even have a trading platform, it obviously doesn’t offer real trading. In addition, when registering an account you have to choose between a completely different set of account types that are not described anywhere on the website. Such inconsistencies are common for scammers.
The information on the minimum deposit is contradictory – in one place an amount of 300 USD is indicated and in another 500 USD. You should know that for a smaller amount, often less than 100 USD, you can open an account with a legitimate, regulated broker.
A leverage of 1:500 is specified. These are levels that can only be seen with offshore brokers and scammers. 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. The FCA, like EU regulators, limits leverage to 1:30 for trading in major currency pairs and even lower levels for more volatile assets.
Stock 247 Traders also claims to offer a deposit bonus. Bonuses, promotions and similar practices are prohibited by all leading regulators.
STOCK 247 TRADERS DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
The website claims that Stock 247 Traders accepts bank transfer, credit cards and a number of popular e-wallets such as POLi , UnionPay, Neteller, Skrill, and FasaPay as payment methods. In the deposit menu itself, however, the available options are far fewer – Bitcoin, bank transfer, PerfectMoney, Western Union and Skrill. The website assures us that it’s best to use Bitcoin, and if any of the other methods are chosen, a message comes up saying that the request has been accepted and we need to contact support.
Apparently the only payment method actually available is Bitcoin, which is typical of scam websites. 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.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK
Fake brokers are a type of scam that has spread especially rapidly in recent years, aided by the excitement surrounding cryptocurrencies. People looking for ways to make money online can very easily come across one of the many scam websites of this type. Scammers are very skilled at convincing people to invest – first small amounts of a few hundred dollars, and then larger sums of money. Some of the scam schemes are quite elaborate and even use trading software to convince victims that their money is actually being invested and even racking up profits.
But when you ask to withdraw those winnings, or even your deposit, you’ll find it’s impossible – you’ll be told that a sudden change in the market has wiped out all your money, or that you have to meet impossible minimum trading volume requirements and pay huge fees and commissions hidden in the terms and conditions. Fraudsters can also simply disappear because they use fake names and offshore shell companies for their operations.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SCAMMED
If you find yourself scammed, the first thing you should do is notify the financial authorities in your country about the scammers’ activities, and spread the word online to warn other potential victims.
Your options for getting your money back are limited. If credit or debit cards were used for the transactions to the scammers, you have the option to request a chargeback. Companies like Visa and MasterCard now allow such requests to be made up to 540 days after the transaction. But keep in mind that if you have provided proof of your identity to the fraudsters, they may dispute that the transaction was voluntary. In addition, fraudsters typically use cryptocurrencies and shady e-wallets that do not allow refunds.
Victims of scams are often targeted by another type of online fraudsters who promise that their money can be refunded for an upfront fee. Under no circumstances should you trust such offers.