Beware! Cupiro 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.
Cupiro is a new broker that holds some promise. The fact that the brokerage was created very recently might explain its current lack of license. Cupiro presented us with a slick website, comprehensive Terms and Conditions, and a decent trading platform. However, the broker is based at an offshore location and as mentioned, is unvouched for by any financial authority. Their conditions were poor – to be fair, the broker does not offer a particularly impressive trading environment. There is a slight chance that this broker turns out to be legitimate – only the future will show. But taking risks is not worth it when many great brokers offer much better conditions.
Cupiro REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
Cupiro is based in the British Virgin Islands – a county that, for an offshore location, has some quite huge minimum capital requirements for forex brokers. Depending on the specific case, they would be asked to maintain operational capital of between $100 000 and $1 000 000. Most such offshore locations don’t even have a regulatory body that monitors the activities of forex brokers or have some much more basic requirements. However, Cupiro is not regulated by the local financial authority, the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission, which means that they are completely unlicensed as of yet. Dealing with an unregulated broker is a huge gamble – there is some chance that, since Cupiro is a very new broker, they have not managed to obtain a license yet and will in the future. However, there is also the real possibility of them being a scam – we would not advise you to take any chances when it comes to investing your money.
Regulated brokers in stricter jurisdictions like the EU, the UK, and Australia are also obligated to maintain a certain minimum capital to prove their financial stability – €730 000 in the UK and the EU, and A$1 million in Australia – but are also obligated to follow many other rules and procedures. Negative balance protection is a must – the amount of money you could lose could not exceed the amount of money you have in your account. Client funds are kept in segregated accounts – your money will be kept separate from the broker’s own funds so you can be sure that the broker would not be able to use your deposits for their own purposes. Licensed brokers are obligated to report to authorities regularly to ensure transparency. UK and EU brokers must also participate in compensation schemes – so in case your broker becomes insolvent, you could receive a compensation of up to €20 000 in the EU and £85 000 in the UK.
Cupiro TRADING SOFTWARE
Cupiro supposedly offers both a web platform and its own desktop app. However, when we tried downloading the desktop app, we were warned that the publisher might be unreliable – so we decided against installing the software. We did, however, try the broker’s web-based platform:
This is by no means a bad platform – it is functional enough and easy to navigate which perhaps makes it suitable for beginners. The problem is that such a platform would get boring quickly – the trading industry can do a lot better when it comes to efficient, intuitive software. Popular platforms MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 would be by far your best choice – both versions of this renowned software are offered by an abundance of legitimate brokers and promise access to many exquisite features. You would be getting a full charting and analysis package, as well as access to Expert Advisors, VPSs, Strategy Testers, and a market for add-ons. You would also be able to develop custom scripts, set signals, and subscribe to those set by others. MT5 comes with additional features such as a community chat and a built-in economic calendar.
Cupiro TRADING CONDITIONS
Cupiro offers a few different accounts with traders of different experience levels:
As you can see, the minimum deposit for the Micro accounts is $250 – which might not seem like a lot but consider that some great EU and UK-regulated brokers offer Mirco accounts for somewhere between $5 and $10.
The leverage on different accounts varies between 1:100 and 1:300 – and while it is legal for offshore brokers to offer any leverage they see fit, we still urge you to be careful when choosing your leverage and consider your knowledge and experience first.
Trading with high leverage could lead both to bigger profits, and to bigger losses. Moreover, there are more established brokerages that could offer rates of 1:100.
The spreads we got were 3 pips on EURUSD – which is double the rates most brokers try to stick to. 1.5 pips is considered to be the average value throughout the industry but you can easily find a broker who offers even better, lower numbers.
Additionally, you should keep in mind that if you do not verify your account within just 15 days, it would be closed – which is a bit of an ultimatum that we do not appreciate, especially since the broker does not offer demo accounts you could test their services on. Your only option is to open a live account and trade with real money.
Cupiro DEPOSIT/WITHDRAWAL METHODS AND FEES
Cupiro clearly states on the website that it offers a variety of payment methods – credit or debit card, wire transfer, different e-wallets and local payment solutions, and Bitcoin. The broker itself is not supposed to charge fees on any deposits or withdrawals. However, when we opened an account and tried depositing, we discovered that the truth is slightly different. Depositing in Bitcoin or via bank transfer was indeed possible. The broker failed to elaborate on which specific e-wallets and local payment solutions it accepts – it just urges you to “use your online payment service providers to fund your account”. Depositing with a credit or debit card was complicated too – there was supposed to be a button for that but we did not find one. This leaves bank wire transfer and Bitcoin as the only deposit methods that are actually available. The problem with that is that it would make getting a chargeback quite complicated – crypto transactions are completely irreversible by default, and while a bank transaction could in theory be reversed, the procedures are anything but simple and 100% effective. Recovering money if you have deposited with Visa or MasterCard, on the other hand, is relatively easy – both providers allow chargebacks within 540 days of the transaction.
Cupiro also charges a fairly huge inactivity fee – after three months of no trading activity, your account would be charged $85 for each subsequent month. After six months, your account is classified as dormant and could potentially be closed.
Some brokers – like FBS, for example – do not charge such fees at all while others charge rather small sums. We would say that $85 a month is generally far too much for such a fee.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK?
Read the following paragraphs carefully – such scams are more frequent than you could imagine so being able to recognize them is important. They are usually not very imaginative and follow pretty much the same pattern.
The scam starts with you seeing an ad on the Internet for a broker – the promises of fast, easy money, and amazing trading conditions follow. You register with an account because you are interested to see what forex trading is all about – after all, you know that some people make decent money as day traders. The moment you provide the scammers with your phone number or email, however, you would not be left alone before you deposit. Keep in mind that these are people who scam others for a living – they can be rather convincing. Once you have made your first deposit you would probably see some profits so you will be tempted to deposit more – the scammers would urge you to do just that.
Once you try to withdraw, however, you will run into trouble – additional taxes, clauses in the Terms and Conditions, not high enough trading volume, etc. At some point, you will figure out that you are probably being played – but the broker will be long-gone by then. Don’t count on being able to contact them.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SCAMMED?
Keep in mind that, unfortunately, such stories rarely end with the client retrieving their money. That does not mean, however, that there is nothing you could do.
Firstly, change your banking passwords – you would not want the scammers to steal even more money. If you have given them remote access to your computer, make sure to remove the software immediately – they might have claimed that they could help you trade if you install software like AnyDesk or TeamViewer but the scammers just want to get free access to your computer and even make transactions on your behalf.
If you have deposited using Visa or MasterCard, ask for a chargeback immediately – both card providers allow such chargebacks within 540 days. Retrieving money if you have used a wire transfer, or an electronic payment solution is much harder – but still, contact your bank or payment method provider to see if anything can be done. And if you have deposited in crypto – as such scammers often urge you to do – you would never be able to get your money since crypto payments are irreversible.
Notify the responsible authorities, and share your story online and in your acquaintance circle – information is power, and your experience might save someone from being scammed in the same way.
Finally, don’t trust any “recovery agents” promising to retrieve your money for a certain fee – this is just another type of scam targeting desperate people.