Beware! Athens Markets 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.
Athens Markets makes a good case for itself- it has a decent website and what it sells seems to be very decent if not slightly favorable to users. Yet, the amount of times we have seen such brokers can fill a reference book, so no, we won’t be trusting the website with these things. We prefer accessing a user area and then seeing for ourselves if Athens Markets keeps its words.
And that is what we did; we went to the registration area and opened an account, which proved to be much easier than we expected. This means that the broker wants as many users as it can get to join it.
On the user area, we were surprised by the addition of the MT5, a powerhouse of a software, one that is currently the number one FX trading software in the world. Unfortunately, we had to rely on a demo account, meaning that we will never know for sure if the spread on the demo account is reliable.
With that said, the EUR/USD cost of trade is said to be 1.6 pips, which in this industry is pretty good. However, the 1:500 leverage cap is typical of offshore brokers. The MT5 allows users to trade with forex currency pairs, shares, indices, crypto, energies, futures, metals, and commodities.
ATHENS MARKETS REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
The main claim here seems to be that the broker is registered in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which we find in the legal docs. However, this means only one thing for the broker: that it is officially now an offshore entity. Moreover, it is also unregulated in Saint Vincent because the Caribbean nation does not have an FX regulator, yet it will allow fraudulent entities to operate locally. As a result of this proclivity, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is scammer paradise.
We also have the predicament of a totally different claim, this one in the footer claiming that Athens Markets is register in the British Virgin Islands. However, there is no mention of the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission, which should be regulating the firm id it were was really register in the Virgin Islands. Obviously, it’s not since we found no evidence of it in the regulator’s databank.
Last but not least, this is what we have also on the footer: “Please check with your local jurisdiction to determine if you are permitted to open an account with Athens Markets Ltd.” This statement suggests that the broker is only as good as the local regulation allows it to be… a very misleading statement there to meddle with the clients’ minds.
Overall, there is no other verdict than the one that sees to label Athens Markets as unregulated and a risk to all.
Unless you wish to throw your money away for no reason , there is absolutely no incentive for investing in unlicensed brokers. In fact, you would be doing them a big favor by funding their further fraudulent projects. If you wish to trade real FX and CFD with regulated brokers, looks no further that those that are regulated, especially in well known locations such as Europe, the UK, the US, or Australia. The regulators there are pedantic to a ridiculous degree and will do everything in their power to uphold the rights of the user and the integrity of the market industry. It is within their power to penalize brokers and demand client compensation, as well as to set industry standards and introduce new rules and regulation.
ATHENS MARKETS TRADING SOFTWARE
Here’s a snip of the available MT5:
This software is the most popular one, and the most powerful one, with hundreds of features opening up the doors to exciting opportunities for all. However, we do not recommend using it with this specific broker because Athens Markets is unregulated and a risk.
ATHENS MARKETS DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
There was no getting any payment details from the user area without our accoutns getting verified first.
We do have the refund policy where we took most of the payment details from, although we can not tell you how much of it is real and how much of it is made up.
And so, according to the refund policy, the broker can increase the processing time which is usually processed in a first-come first-serve principle. The payment methods are quite unsure as there are different methods mentioned, including cards, banks , and crypto, throughout the provisions. We are also told that the broker does not charge payment fees.
There was no minimum deposit disclosed anywhere.
From where we are standing it seems to us that Athens Markets had some idea of how to operate, but someway along the way it shifted direction, and yet certain good elements remained within. In other words, this broker has some semblance of potential, and it’s up to it to decide whether to continue with its shady business or try out the real thing.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK
Getting scammed usually happens without you knowing it. It’s a deceivingly simple process that owes its success precisely because it seems so avoidable.
First, there is the matter of getting in contact with the broker which happens in one of two ways. Either it contacts you, or you it. If it calls, it means that somewhere in your net journey you accidently left a phone number or an email address. Or you were persuaded by the broker to contact it, which is why many scammer brokerage sites looks so appealing.
The hardest thing to achieve, for a fraudster, is to convince a user to invest an initial deposit. Prior to this a certain level of trust must be built, centered around a false sense of rapport. The broker will fake an interest in the user and in the process talk about market and profit opportunities, as well as investment choices. It’s all a part of a retaining strategy that will keep the user invested for at least a couple of thousand dollars, on average, until, eventually, he realizes the scammer pit he has fallen in.
When this happens, the broker will seize all contact with the user, and might even block the client from the website. It will go to great lengths not to return a single penny of the user’s money.
WHAT TO DO IF SCAMMED
The first thing you should do it to file for a charge back. That’s if you have invested by means of a credit or debit card. MasterCard and VISA have a chargeback period of 540 days giving users more than enough time to try to get their money back.
Wire transfer deposits are not as easy to acquire, and the best advice we can give you is to set up a reimbursement strategy with the bank leading the transactions. Most banks have strategies put in motion when these circumstances are met. Furthermore, if scammed via a wire transfer, it’s best to change your bank account user name and password.
Unfortunately, all crypto deposits are most surely lost for good. These transactions are untraceable and therefore once they reach the scammer end it all depends on the fraudsters if you see your money back or not.
Lastly, do not trust recovery agents or agencies. These are either separate scammers trying to get a hold of any leftovers, or can even be an extension of the brokerage scam.