Beware! ClydeTrade 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.
ClydeTrade wants us to believe that it is a “company providing brokerage services to clients from all around the globe”. But these claims do not stand up to scrutiny. ClydeTrade is in fact another reincarnation of a well-known fraudulent scheme run by a shady offshore company. It is in your best interest to avoid ClydeTrade.
CLYDETRADE REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
According to the website, Tetris Group LTD, a company incorporated in the Commonwealth of Dominica, is behind ClydeTrade.
We were in fact unable to locate the Tetris Group on the register of the local regulator, the Financial Services Unit. So it is not clear whether this company really exists. But even if Tetris Group has a registration in this offshore zone, it does not give any guarantees about the safety of your money.
In the Commonwealth of Dominica, there are no regulations for brokerage activities. This means that if you deal with a brokers registered there, they are completely unaccountable and you have no guarantee that they are really investing your money, not just pocketing it. The Commonwealth of Dominica also allows incorporation of totally anonymous International Business Companies (IBCs) which is very convenient for scammers.
The legal mess around ClydeTrade does not stop there. In the Terms and Conditions it is stated that disputes between the company and customers will be resolved by the courts in Poland.
There is no trace of Tetris Group in the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) database, so this claim is a lie. Tetris Group’s fraudulent activity has, however, come to the attention of another European regulator, the Italian CONSOB. The institution has blacklisted several websites linked to the company. Among them is another fake broker we have reviewed, Sierrainvest.
This is also not the first variant of the ClydeTrade scam we have encountered. A previous reincarnation of this scam used a different domain, ClydeTrade.pro.
You should only trust legitimate brokers operating in one of the 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.
CLYDETRADE TRADING SOFTWARE
On its website, ClydeTrade boasts that it offers a trading platform “specifically designed for traders.” Leaving aside the fact that all trading platforms are designed specifically for traders, ClydeTrade’s web-based platform is not impressive in any way. Here’s 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 most widely used trading platforms in the industry, 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.
CLYDETRADE TRADING CONDITIONS
ClydeTrade claims to offer three types of trading accounts – Simple, Advanced and Professional. The only specific information in the account descriptions is the minimum deposit – 250 USD, 2,000 USD and 10,000 USD respectively. By comparison, many legitimate, well-established brokers allow you to start trading with amounts of 100 USD or less.
The website does not mention other basic trading parameters such as spread, leverage and commissions. The Terms and Conditions state that the Company also charges brokerage fees or commissions for executing trades, but the amount of these fees is not specified.
In the trading platform we see a spread of 3 pips. This is more than double the levels that can be seen at most legitimate brokers. The platform also has a set leverage of 1:200. This is additional evidence that ClydeTrade could not be a broker based in an EU country like Poland. The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) limits leverage to 1:30 for trading in major currency pairs and even lower levels for more volatile assets. The same rules are followed by FCA and ASIC. In the USA and Canada the maximum leverage is slightly higher, 1:50.
ClydeTrade also claims to offer bonuses, another practice banned by all leading regulators.
CLYDETRADE DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
The payment methods that can be used for deposit in the ClydeTrade are credit card and 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.
Information on whether there are withdrawal fees is contradictory. The Terms and Conditions state that there are no such fees, while the separate Deposit and Withdrawal Policy mentions that there are such fees, but does not specify their amount. It also states that the withdrawal must be in the same FIAT currency as the deposit, so it is unclear what rules apply when using cryptocurrencies.
But withdrawing funds is made almost impossible by a clause in the Terms and Conditions. According to it, if the account has received a bonus, withdrawal of funds is allowed only after fulfilling high requirements for minimum traded volume – 25 times the amount of the bonus plus the deposit. In addition, there is an unspecified fee for inactive accounts.
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.