Beware! ApoloTrade 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.
ApoloTrade is another offshore broker who fails to earn our trust and respect. The broker’s attempt to seem legitimate is unimpressive and we would never choose such an obvious scam over someone regulated and reliable – and neither should you. If you trade with a broker of the likes of ApoloTrade, you will surely get scammed sooner or later – such schemes are best avoided.
ApoloTrade REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
ApoloTrade mentions two countries where it could be based – on the British Virgin Islands and in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In the Terms and Conditions, the broker mentions that it is governed by the laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines which, for us, is a red flag. Both countries ApoloTrade has mentioned are not exactly famous for their strict regulatory regimes – but the FSA of St. Vincent and the Grenadines does not even regulate forex brokers, or monitor their activities. That is why the country has become a favorite location for scam brokers – because pretty much anyone who has managed to set up a company there (which is fairly easy to do) could start offering complex financial services without having to meet any sort of requirements, report transactions, or answer to strict financial authorities.
Opening an account with a broker regulated in the UK, the EU or Australia is a much better decision. Such brokers are never as anonymous as scammers like ApoloTrade – they have to report transactions, and they are under the supervision of some of the most reputable financial authorities in the world There are countless requirements and procedures for a broker who wishes to obtain a license in the UK, the EU or Australia. Brokers must maintain a minimum operational capital of €730 000 in the UK, and the EU, and A$1 million in Australia – that number could be bigger if the broker has a bigger number of clients. This money serves as proof that the broker is financially stable. Negative balance protection is a vital policy – this means that you could never lose more money than you have in your account. Client money must always be kept in separate bank accounts – in case the broker goes bankrupt, your money will be safe and segregated from the broker’s funds. This also speeds up withdrawals and proves that the broker would not be able to reinvest your money.
ApoloTrade TRADING SOFTWARE
The trading platform ApoloTrade offers is a quite simple web-based platform.
Such platforms are by no means bad but one could argue that they provide very limited opportunities and features, which would, without a doubt, bring your trading experience to a halt at some point. Check out brokers who can offer advanced, highly functional platforms like MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5. Both platforms are both very efficient and easy to get accustomed to which means that even complete beginners will be able to benefit from the many tools they offer. You would not only be able to get access to an extensive charting and analysis package – something that, without a doubt, would be of use for many traders but also have many additional tools at your disposal. From Expert Advisors that trade automatically, VPSs you could purchase to keep EAs operating at all times, and the chance to create custom scripts to Strategy Testers and a market for add-ons – both MT4 and MT5 have far more to offer than rudimentary platforms like the one pictured above.
ApoloTrade TRADING CONDITIONS
ApoloTrade gives you the opportunity to trade Forex, Indices, Precious Metals, and Energies on a few different account types. However, the information provided about the conditions on all of these account types on the website was quite contradictory. The minimum deposit on the cheapest, Basic, account is either $100 or $200 – depending on which section of the website you are looking at. Both sums are too high – many amazing brokers offer accounts for less than $10 these days.
The broker promised that leverage could go as high as 1:400 depending on the account type. On our Basic account we were only allowed to access leverage of up to 1:100 – again, many much more reliable brokers can offer the same rates. The problem with trading with high leverage is that it could lead to much bigger losses, especially if you do not have the necessary experience and knowledge. That is why many jurisdictions have restricted the maximum leverage retail clients could get access to and why you should be careful not to set your leverage too high even when you are trading with an offshore broker.
The spreads ApoloTrade promised on Basic accounts like our own were either starting from 1.6 pips – which is reasonable – or from 3 pips – which is far too high to be cost-effective for you. However, we were surprised to see spreads as tight as 0.3 pips on EURUSD in our demo account – which surely speaks of platform manipulation, something common for scammers.
You would only be charged a commission on zero-spread Pro accounts – $5 per lot which is, again, fairly low. However, we find it extremely hard to believe any information this fraudulent broker provides – ApoloTrade seems to pick and mix random numbers to present its various account types. There is hardly any consistency in the information provided by the broker.
ApoloTrade DEPOSIT/WITHDRAWAL METHODS AND FEES
We were not allowed to deposit with ApoloTrade – or even see which payment methods are available – before we had verified our account. If we trust the information the broker has provided on the website, you would be able to deposit via wire transfer or with Visa/MasterCard. The broker accepts payments in EUR and USD – but if you want to use a credit or debit card and deposit in USD, you would have to pay a 5% fee. There are no deposit fees for wire transfers but if you want to withdraw money using this payment method, you would have to be willing to pay $30 if you are withdrawing less than $1000.
There are also inactivity fees charged after 3 months of no trading activity – but the broker does not exactly specify the size of those.
Watch out for all sorts of hidden fees with such unreliable brokers – those might turn out to be hefty.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK?
Scam brokers are becoming more and more of a constant feature in the world of financial frauds – which means that more and more people are losing their hard-earned money by depositing it with such unreliable companies. We advise readers to always turn to licensed enterprises and thoroughly check registers. Let’s take a look at how such scams usually work and how you can protect yourself from them.
You stumble upon a broker who seems to offer fast, effortless, sometimes guaranteed profits – and decide that there is no harm in opening an account with it to see what it has to offer. After all, you have heard stories of people earning a decent income by trading – why not be one of them. You would not have to deposit, not immediately. But the moment you provide the broker with your phone or email, they would not leave you alone before you do so. You will be promised all sorts of great things – after all, these are people who scam people for a living and who are well-accustomed to convincing. The initial deposit might not be big – but you would be asked for more and more money with time. In some cases, you might even see that money grow – but that is nothing more than a trick that usually involves some sort of platform manipulation.
A time will come though when you will want to withdraw money – and you would not be allowed to do so. The broker will claim that you have not fulfilled a clause in the Terms and Conditions, that there are additional taxes, and that you are obligated to wait a certain time before withdrawing. At this point, you will understand that you are being scammed – but the broker will disappear as soon as they discover they can no longer milk you.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SCAMMED?
The first thing you should do is change all your banking passwords, and uninstall any remote access software (if you have installed any). After all, you would not want the scammers to have any sort of access to your bank account so they could drain it.
Do not trust any so-called “recovery agencies” who ask you to pay a fee so they could track down the broker and retrieve your money – this is a whole other type of scam targeting desperate people. What you should do instead is inform the actual financial authorities, and look into chargeback options – both Visa and MasterCard, for example, battle scams by allowing chargebacks within 540 days of the transaction.
One final thing – it is important to share your story with as many people as possible. The more people know about this sort of scam, the fewer people will fall victim to it. Unfortunately, such stories rarely get a happy ending – which is why prevention is key.