Beware! IqFxOptions 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.
IqFxOptions is a very obvious scam website that unconvincingly claims to be a regulated and award-winning forex broker. At the time of writing this review, the website doesn’t even allow account creation. But the information available is enough to judge with certainty that this is not and never has been a real broker.
IQFXOPTIONS REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
The first thing that reveals IqFxOptions as a scam is that the website is almost completely identical to dozens and possibly hundreds of other fake brokers. Primextrade, PremierFxCapital and Hodleltd are just a few examples of such scammers using the same layout and elements.
But even if you haven’t come across one of these cloning websites you can easily recognize that IqFxOptions is not a legitimate business. Nowhere on the website is a company name mentioned, nor are there Terms and Conditions or any kind of legal documentation. If you visit the website of a legitimate broker on the main page you will find detailed information about the company that manages it and its legal and regulatory status.
IqFxOptions is incompletely anonymous, which is a good enough reason to avoid it. However, this anonymity does not prevent it from claiming to be licensed by some of the most respected regulatory bodies in the world, such as Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom, the Australian Securities and Exchanges Commission (ASIC) and the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) of South Africa:
However, the address listed on the index page is not in any of these countries, but in the United States:
And on the contact page we find another completely different address in Jakarta, Indonesia. This same address has been used by numerous other scam websites.
The fact that the IqFxOptions does not provide a company name and license number is sufficient indication that it is not a registered broker in any of the listed jurisdictions. For the purpose of this review, however, we searched for “IqFxOptions” in the databases of the relevant regulators and predictably found nothing:
When investing in the financial markets you should only use the services of brokers that you can confirm are licensed and operate in established financial centres like the UK, EU, USA or Australia. There, the activities of brokers are controlled by powerful regulatory bodies such as UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in US or Australian Securities and Exchanges Commission (ASIC). 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. However, the likelihood of such a bankruptcy is low because regulators also have significant net capital requirements that companies must maintain – EUR 730 000 in UK and Cyprus, AUD 1000 000 in Australia and at least 20 million USD in the United States.
IQFXOPTIONS TRADING SOFTWARE
The IqFxOption website does not even mention the most important element of trading – the software. Creating an account was impossible, so we were unable to verify if the customer portal gave access to any kind of trading platform.
Although the account registration form is functional, we could not log in to the created account because the anonymous owners of the website must first approve our credentials:
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.
IQFXOPTIONS TRADING CONDITIONS
IqFxOptions claims to offer two types of trading accounts, Classic and Platinum. The only specific information in the description of these accounts is the minimum deposit of 500 USD. Elsewhere on the website, however, a deposit of 100 USD is mentioned. In any case, it would be wiser to go to a legitimate broker, many of which offer starter accounts with a minimum deposit of even less than 100 USD.
On the website we also find a claim that this alleged broker offers leverage of 1:500. Such a level is not allowed in any of the jurisdictions in which the IqFxOptions claims to be licensed. The FCA, like EU regulators, limits leverage to 1:30 for trading in major currency pairs and even lower levels for more volatile assets. The same rules currently apply to Australia. In the US, the maximum limit is slightly higher at 1:50.
The information on other trading parameters on the IqFxOptions website is sketchy and contradictory. In one place it is stated that there are no commissions, but at the same time a bonus is offered that includes 60 days of commission-free trading. Offering bonuses is also confirmation that this cannot be a regulated broker because all leading regulators prohibit bonuses and promotions.
IQFXOPTIONS DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
The logos of popular payment methods such as Visa, MasterCard, Skrill, PayPal and Neteller can be seen on the website. But we have no reason to believe that the IqFxOptions really uses such transparent methods. Fraudsters of this type typically only use cryptocurrencies because transactions with them are non-refundable.
Due to the lack of publicly available Terms and Conditions, it is unclear what hidden fees and other traps the scammers may have set.
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.