Valuta Markets review – 5 things you should know about valutamarkets.com

Valuta Markets review – 5 things you should know about valutamarkets.com

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Beware! Valuta Markets is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.

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Valuta Markets is a very questionable offshore broker that gives us plenty of reasons to believe it is actually nothing more than a scam. The lack of any regulation is reason enough to avoid this website, but let’s take a look at what other worrying signs we found.

VALUTA MARKETS REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS

The company behind Valuta Markets is called MVE Holdings Limited and, according to its website, is “authorized by the Republic of the Marshall Islands” to provide brokerage services.

This claim is misleading to say the least. The Marshall Islands is an offshore zone that not only has no regulations for brokers, but in fact does not even have a financial regulatory body. There, the company could be incorporated entirely online without setting foot on the territory of the country. This makes the Marshall Islands one of the favourite bases of financial fraudsters.

Valuta Market  is not subject to any regulatory oversight and does not provide any guarantees to its customers. There is no way to be sure that it is really a broker.

It is highly recommended that you invest only through licensed brokers, especially if you are a novice trader. 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.

VALUTA MARKETS TRADING SOFTWARE

On the website, we see a claim that Valuta Markets offers the two most widely used trading platforms in the industry, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5), as well as a web-based platform. But in fact,  Valuta Markets only uses the older version of the software, MT4. Here’s what it looks like:

The availability of a trading platform should not reassure us – many fake brokers use platforms like MT4 to deceive their victims that their money is really 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.

VALUTA MARKETS TRADING CONDITIONS

Valuta Markets claims to offer trading in six major asset classes, but does not provide comprehensive information on trading conditions. Valuta Markets offers two types of trading accounts, Classic and VIP, but their descriptions lack data on basic parameters.

Valuta Markets promises a spread of 1.5 pips with no additional commissions, which is in line with industry averages. But, as noted, we have no reason to believe that the trade pledged by Valuta Markets is real.

The website homepage promises leverage up to 1:500. This is not a level that you see with regulated brokers. Trading with high leverage allows higher profits, but also increases the risk of sudden and excessive losses proportionally. All leading regulators limit leverage for retail traders. In the EU, UK and Australia the maximum permitted level is 1:30 and in the US it is 1:50. This maximum level only applies to trading major currency pairs, with even more limited leverage for more volatile assets.

The information about the minimum deposit is contradictory. The homepage states 50 USD, the account descriptions 100 USD, the FAQ section 250 EUR, and the deposit menu has a set minimum of 100 EUR.

Such inconsistencies are one of many red flags that we are dealing with fraud and not just an unregulated broker. It is much wiser to work with licensed brokers which also allow you to start trading with a very low minimum deposit.

VALUTA MARKETS DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES

According to the website and legal documentation, the Valuta Markets accepts credit cards and wire transfer as payment methods. But in the deposit menu we see an option to pay by credit cards through the unknown providers lion-pay.com and vaultspay.com, as well as various cryptocurrencies. Since cryptocurrency transactions are not mentioned anywhere, we don’t know what terms apply to them. Cryptocurrencies are the favorite payment method of fraudsters because they do not allow refunds.

Under the terms and conditions, Valuta Markets charges a substantial withdrawal fee of EUR 10 if the amount is less than EUR 250 by bank transfer or EUR 20 by credit card. Most licensed brokers do not charge transaction fees at all.

Valuta Markets reserves the right to charge you an administrative fee of 60 EUR if you request a chargeback. If the account has been dormant for more than 90 days, Valuta Markets charges 10% of the balance each month, but not less than 25 EUR. Again, these are fees that legitimate brokers either don’t charge or charge much less.

HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK

Trading in financial instruments is a risky business even for experienced investors using the services of reliable brokers. For newcomers, there is also the risk of being deceived by the many scam websites posing as brokerages. These websites are operated by skilled and cunning scammers who lure you with promises of easy profits. Usually these scammers promise to take care of all the bits and pieces of investment for you, but many even use real trading platforms to fool you that your money is really being invested. After investing an initial low amount, they will convince you that you are already making incredible profits and urge you to invest more.

But your money is not invested and you will never see the promised returns. When you ask to withdraw even a portion of your money, you will be surprised by impossible to meet minimum trading volume requirements and hidden fees that amount to tens of percentages of your funds. Scammers hide behind fake names and offshore companies that are uncontrolled and unregulated, so it will be impossible to hold them accountable.

WHAT TO DO WHEN SCAMMED

If you find yourself in a similar situation, you can request a chargeback. However, this option is only possible if you have used a credit or debit card for the transactions. Visa and MasterCard allow this to be done within 540 days. But if you have provided the scammers with proof of identity, such as an ID or proof of address, these claims can be disputed. Bank wire transfer or cryptocurrency transactions are non-refundable.

In any case, you should inform the relevant authorities in your country about the activities of the scammers and warn other potential victims online. You should not trust offers to return your money for an upfront fee. This is also a known scam and all testimonials from satisfied customers are fake.

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