Beware! RockFordFX 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.
RockFordFX is a very typical website – not a typical forex broker, but a typical scam. The shoddy and messy website is clue enough that this is unlikely to be the financial intermediary that can help us “maximize profits and minimize risk” it claims to be. Fact-checking confirms our suspicions – RockFordFX is only designed to cheat inexperienced people out of their money.
ROCKFORDFX REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
It is not clear who is behind the RockFordFX, but we can be sure that it is not a company authorized to provide financial services. Legitimate brokers provide comprehensive information about the owning company and its regulatory status. RockFordFX does not even give an address.
The Terms and Conditions and other legal documentation also do not mention the name of a legal entity. The legal documentation in question is something we have seen dozens, maybe even hundreds of times. These texts have been used by a number of fake brokers we have reviewed, with the only change being the brand name. METAfmi OptimizeFunds, Dcmgroup.io, Wise 4X and WBIinvest are just some of the more recent examples.
In these standard documents for fraudsters, two jurisdictions are mentioned in passing – Estonia and the “Grenadines”, which presumably must mean the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). Estonia is a member state of the EU and strict European regulations for stockbrokers apply there. SVG on the other hand is an offshore zone where companies can claim to be brokers for which no license is required and there is no regulation.
We did not find a company whose name includes “RockFordFX” neither in the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority’s database nor in that of the Тhe Financial Services Authority of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. So this is neither a licensed and regulated broker in Estonia, nor an offshore and unregulated broker registered in SVG. It’s just an anonymous scam.
Under no circumstances should you trust your money to such anonymous websites full of false and contradictory information. Instead, you can turn to one of the many companies that really work under the supervision of respected regulatory bodies like Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) or Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. As their customer you will enjoy a number of guarantees including negative balance protection and guarantee for your funds if the broker goes bankrupt, which goes up to EUR 20,000 in EU and 85,000 GBP in the UK. Regulations in the UK and EU include some important measures designed to improve investor protection and promote market integrity and transparency, such as transaction reporting. Regulated brokers are also required to segregate their operational funds from the client’s money.
ROCKFORDFX TRADING SOFTWARE
The website claims that RockFordFX offers two trading platforms – the industry flagship MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and its proprietary web platform. After account registration we find no trace of MT4. The web platform is pretty rudimentary and we are not convinced that it is not just an imitation of the real thing.
The presence of a trading platform does not make this website any more legitimate and does not guarantee that this alleged broker offers real trading. Many scammers have trading software to fool their victims that their money is being invested. There are more than enough licensed brokers offering clients the MT4 experience and/or the newer version of the software 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.
ROCKFORDFX TRADING CONDITIONS
On the website we find descriptions of three types of trading accounts. The promises of low spreads and zero commissions don’t mean much, considering that RockFordFX are scammers and don’t offer real trading. But claims of leverage up to 1:400 provide further proof that this could not be a real broker operating in Estonia.
Regulated brokers do not offer such levels to retail traders as trading with high leverage carries risks of sudden and excessive losses. The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and accordingly all EU regulators limit leverage to 1:30 for major currency pairs and even lower levels for more volatile assets.
RockFordFX also promises generous deposit bonuses – a practice that is banned by all leading regulators. According to the terms and conditions, the bonus is withdrawable, but only if a very high minimum traded volume threshold is met – 30 times the bonus amount plus the deposit.
The stated minimum deposit is 250 EUR. For a much lower amount, you could open a starter account with many leading brands.
ROCKFORDFX DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
According to the legal documentation, the RockFordFX accepts credit cards and wire transfer as payment methods. However, at the time of writing this review, the deposit menu of the RockFordFX was not functional. The withdrawal fees are significant and as high as 50 USD. Most legitimate brokers do not charge transaction fees and offer a wider range of payment methods, including established e-wallets such as Skrill, Neteller, Sofort and QIWI.
In the text of the Terms and Conditions we find a clause according to which “a levy of 10% of the withdrawal amount will be charged to any withdrawal from an account that has not executed more than 200 in turnover”. It is not specified 200 of what – it is very likely that 200 lots are meant, i.e. 20 000 000 currency units. Such vaguely worded and impossible to meet clauses are intended to block any requests to withdraw money.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK
Many people are looking for ways to make money passively, but do not have the necessary knowledge to invest in the financial markets themselves. This makes them a target for the many online scammers posing as brokers. If you come across some of them and give them your contacts, you will be contacted by skilled scam artists who will assure you that they can take on the incomprehensible aspects of investing for you. You will only be required to invest and take profits.
But when you try to collect even just a fraction of your money, it will turn out to be impossible. Your supposed profits will suddenly evaporate, or you’ll find that you have to meet impossible traded volume requirements first. Fraudsters often insert huge withdrawal fees into client agreements amounting to 10%, 20% or even more. You won’t be able to hold scammers accountable because they hide behind fake names and shell-companies offshore. Scammers also typically use non-refundable payment methods.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SCAMMED
First of all, you should be very careful not to fall straight into the clutches of other scammers. Another common scam is to promise money recoveries from fake brokers for an upfront fee.
If you used a credit or debit card for the transactions, you can charge a chargeback. Visa and MasterCard have a long period in which they allow such requests – 540 days. But keep in mind that fraudsters can dispute if you have provided them with a copy of your ID and proof of address. It would also be helpful if you alerted the authorities in your country and other people online to the activities of the scammers.