Beware! StocksExclusive 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.
It shouldn’t have to be said that it’s a bad idea to give money to anonymous strangers on the internet. But StocksExclusive hopes you will do just that. This website presents itself as an innovative forex and CFD broker that will ease your path to riches. But the reality is quite different – this is just yet another iteration of a well-known scam.
STOCKSEXCLUSIVE REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
As stated, the StocksExclusive is completely anonymous. No information can be found on the website and legal documentation as to which company is behind StocksExclusive. There is not even an address and the only means of communication is email. The Terms and Conditions even refuse to state whose the governing law is:
That’s reason enough to stay as far away as possible from the StocksExclusive. If you visit the website of a licensed broker, you’ll see a dramatically different picture – right on the front page there will be detailed and clear information about the legal entity that owns and manages the operation, and its legal and regulatory status.
If you have decided to start trading forex and other financial instruments, you can always use the services of the many licensed and regulated brokers. Depending on your location, it is advisable to choose a company that is regulated by an institution such as Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in US, Australian Securities and Exchanges Commission (ASIC), UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or some EU regulator like Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
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.
STOCKSEXCLUSIVE TRADING SOFTWARE
StocksExclusive makes a big deal out of the fact that it uses MetaTrader 4 (MT4). This claim is actually the centerpiece on the website. MT4 is indeed one of the most popular trading platforms in the world, and has been for decades. But for this very reason there are numerous legitimate brokers that offer clients the MT4 experience and/or the newer version of the software MT5.
If you work with some of these legitimate brokers, you’ll be able to really take advantage of the capabilities of this advanced software, including a variety of options for customization, multiple account usage, designing and implementing custom scripts for automated trading and backtesting trade strategies.
Scammers like the StocksExclusive use trading platforms only to fool their victims that their money is being invested. And the MT4 platform used by the StocksExclusive gives us further proof that we are dealing with fraudsters.
The software is registered in the name of TechInvest Solutions Ltd, a company based in the Marshall Islands, where there is not even a financial regulator. TechInvest’s platform has been used by numerous fake brokers that we have reviewed. Xxlmarkets, Stocks24 and Crypto800 are some of the most recent examples.
STOCKSEXCLUSIVE TRADING CONDITIONS
When you visit the website of a legitimate broker you will find proposals for different types of trading accounts suitable for investors with different preferences, as well as detailed descriptions of trading parameters – minimum deposit, order execution method, tradable financial instruments, leverage, spread, swap, commissions, etc. But this is not the case with StocksExclusive. On the website we find descriptions of four types of trading accounts, but they lack specific information about trading parameters.
MT4 platform settings show a spread of 3 pips and a leverage of 1:200. In the industry, even a 2 pip spread is considered too high and disadvantageous to the trader, so even if the StocksExclusive were offering real trading, it would be disadvantageous to the client.
High leverage creates the opportunity for more significant profit, but correspondingly increases the risk of sudden and excessive losses. All leading regulators therefore restrict leverage for retail traders. A maximum leverage of 1:30 is allowed in the European Union and the United Kingdom and 1:50 in the United States.
The only thing we can understand from the terms and conditions of StocksExclusive is that there are fees and commissions, but not what their amount is.
STOCKSEXCLUSIVE DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
There are only two options on the StocksExclusive deposit menu – cryptocurrency and wire transfer. Both payment methods do not allow refunds and chargebacks, which is very convenient to scammers. Legitimate brokers typically offer clients a wide choice of transparent payment methods, including credit/debit cards and established e-wallets such as PayPal, Skrill and Neteller.
The only fee that has been specified by the StocksExclusive is that for a dormant account. It is 60 USD per month and is triggered after 30 days of inactivity.
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.