The MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading software was originally launched back in 2005 and has established itself as an undisputed favorite of traders and brokers around the world. In fact, its only significant competitor is the newer version of the software, MT5, which is undoubtedly more advanced, but has only in the last few years managed to overtake its predecessor in terms of number of active users.
However, this pervasiveness and familiarity of MT4 has a dark side. The online space is full of financial scammers posing as forex brokers. Most of them use some type of trading software. In most cases these are cheap and basic web-based platforms, but some of them actually use MT4 to lend themselves credibility. But the reality is that the trading they offer is fictitious – first they lie to their victims that their money is invested and make profits to convince them to invest even more money. In the same way, scammers can use trading platforms to make your profits “disappear” once you ask to withdraw them.
Here are some examples of MT4 scams we have reviewed this month:
Baxia (baxiamarkets.com) – A bit more sophisticated scam than usual. Baxia presents itself as an offshore broker based in the Seychelles, and this can be confirmed in the Financial Services Authority of Seychelles database. But hidden in the account registration form are different Terms and Conditions, which list a different company based in the Marshall Islands. This offshore zone is often used by fraudsters because a company can be registered there via the internet and there is no financial regulator.
EverestCM (everestcm.com) – It claims to be an offshore broker registered in Mauritius, but fact-checking reveals that this website is illegally using the name and details of a legitimate company. The trading conditions look pretty standard, but that’s no reason to trust this anonymous and unregulated website, who is clearly trying to deceive you from the get go..
LVM Trade (lvmtrade.com) – This website has many of the typical traits of fake brokers. It presents itself as “fully regulated” but is based in another jurisdiction preferred by scammers, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This is an offshore zone whose financial regulator does not license brokers and does not supervise the activities of International Business Companies engaged in such activity. The MT4 platform used by LVM Trade is actually registered in the name of another company based in the offshore zone of Vanuatu.
GreenWaveX (greenwavex.com) – This website outright lies about being based in the UK. However, it is clear from the Terms and Conditions and the registration details of the MT4 platform that it is in fact based in the Marshall Islands and is completely unregulated. Like the other scammers, it offers extremely high and risky levels of leverage and bonuses, which may serve as additional evidence that it could not legitimately operate in a highly regulated jurisdiction such as the UK.
These and all other scammers share many common traits – they try to hide where they are based and usually only provide a email contact; use shell companies registered in unregulated offshore jurisdictions; offer supposedly generous bonuses to tie withdrawals to huge fees and exorbitant minimum trading volume requirements; advertise popular payment methods but actually use cryptocurrencies or unknown and shady payment providers that do not allow refunds and chargebacks.
Therefore, it is very important before investing to make sure that you have chosen a legitimate broker holding the necessary licenses from a reputable regulatory institution. If you made the mistake of giving money to scammers, it is very difficult to get it back. Even if you used a credit card for the transaction and can request a chargeback, scammers can dispute the request and claim the transaction is legitimate if you have provided them with a copy of your ID and proof of address.
The software developer MetaQuotes no longer makes feature updates to MT4, but continues to maintain the software and provide updates to fix bugs and improve the stability of the platform. The Windows version of MT4 received its last update in October 2021, and the Linux and macOS versions in May of that year. MT4’s mobile apps have been updated more frequently, with the latest updates for Android and iOS in May and March 2022, respectively. MetaTrader also has a web version that can be used through a browser.
The reason for the unusual longevity for software is the fact that MT4’s features are quite sufficient for the majority of traders, which is why they continue to use the stable and familiar platform. Because of this, virtually all brokers continue to offer MT4, with many companies also offering a host of plugins and software add-ons that greatly increase MT4’s functionality and capabilities.
But even MT4’s basic functionality is impressive – alongside a host of charting tools and technical indicators, the platform allows you to receive trading signals, copy trade and use Expert Advisor bots. The ability to use custom scripts for automated trading and backtest trading strategies is one of the key advantages of MetaTrader.