Beware! Ezee Trades 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.
The Ezee Trades website looks very familiar to us, but not for good reasons. Many elements of the layout are identical to those on scam websites we’ve reviewed – for example OctexTrade, Fx Bit Option or SwiftPayOptions. But even if you haven’t come across them, you may easily determine that Ezee Trades is not what it claims to be – an award-winning forex broker licensed in the UK. Let’s see what the telltale clues are.
EZEE TRADES REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
When you visit the website of a legitimate forex broker you can expect to find clear and detailed information about the company that owns and operates it, where it is based and what regulatory regimes it is subject to. Licensed financial services providers are also required to provide a comprehensive set of legal documentation.
The only identifying information is an address in London, United Kingdom.
But this is a highly regulated jurisdiction where it is not possible for an anonymous website to offer brokerage services. For this, a company must have the appropriate license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The lack of a company name or registration number is sufficient proof that the Ezee Trades does not have such a licence. As expected, we did not find anything concerning “Ezee Trades” in the regulator’s database.
If you want to trade on financial markets without being scammed, you can turn to some of the legitimate brokers that actually operate from established financial hubs like the UK. These brokers have to meet stringent requirements for financial stability and transparency of operations imposed by the FCA. They must provide clients with negative balance protection and to participate in a guarantee fund that covers up to GBP 85,000 of a client’s investment should the broker go into insolvency. These brokers are also required to keep their clients’ money segregated from their own operating funds in separate bank accounts.
EZEE TRADES TRADING SOFTWARE
The Ezee Trades website claims that this broker offers clients MetaTrader 5 (MT5), currently the most popular trading software in the industry. But after registering an account, we only get access to a generic installation file for the platform, which is not configured for a specific broker and which can be downloaded from the website of the software developer, MetaQuotes. Ezee Trades also does not provide any credentials for logging into a trading server.
The only distinguishing feature of the installation file is that its name includes “capital forex live” – this is a brand name used by yet another scam website we have encountered.
You could always use the services of a regulated broker, the vast majority of which offer clients MT5 or the still very popular MT4. This will enable you to use the advanced features of these platforms without fear of being scammed. These platforms are preferred by the majority of brokers around the world because of their powerful automated trading capabilities, including Expert Advisor bots and customized scripts for backtesting trading strategies.
As further evidence of the falsity of Ezee Trades, we find a statement on the website that the use of Expert Advisor bots and other automated trading features is prohibited. Not only are these standard services for genuine brokers, they are the biggest advantage of the MetaTrader platform
EZEE TRADES TRADING CONDITIONS
As we have established, the Ezee Trades has neither the legal authorization nor the necessary software to offer trading in financial instruments. But the descriptions of the terms of this alleged trade provide us with further evidence that Ezee Trades could not be a genuine broker operating lawfully in the UK.
The website states that Ezee Trades offers extremely high leverage of up to 1:1000. 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. The FCA, like EU regulators, limits leverage to 1:30 for trading in major currency pairs and even lower levels for more volatile assets. The FCA also prohibits retail traders from trading cryptocurrencies, but Ezee Trades claims to offer such a service.
The stated minimum deposit is only 10 USD, but this should not tempt you – many licensed forex brokers allow you to start trading with a very low minimum deposit.
EZEE TRADES DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
But these options are absent from the Ezee Trades deposit menu. In fact, it’s not clear what payment method Ezee Trades uses, because the client can only place a request for a deposit, and then a message appears telling them that they will receive instructions on how to complete the transaction via email. We suspect that, like most scammers of this type, the Ezee Trades directs its potential victims to cryptocurrency transactions that do not allow refunds and chargebacks.
The only specific information on the withdrawal requirements is that “after deposit trader have to utilize at least 30% of fund in trade to get withdrawal.” Grammatical errors aside, this is not a condition you will encounter if you work with a legitimate broker.
Due to the lack of legal documentation, it is unclear what other traps the scammers may have set – such as huge hidden fees.
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK
While browsing the interwebs there is a significant chance you will come across comments, videos, social media pages that promise easy ways to passively make money. If you follow the links you will be taken to websites claiming to be legitimate brokers or investment firms. And if you take the next step and make contact with the people behind these websites, you will be contacted by slick and experienced scammers who will lure you in with promises of easy profits. For a while they will convince you that your investment is generating impressive returns and you need to pour in even more money to make sure you don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity
However, the attitude towards you will be changed if you want to withdraw your money. Suddenly, it will turn out that your investment makes losses and you even owe money to the fake broker for unexpected fees and expenses. They will show you clauses hidden in the Terms and Conditions, according to which you can only withdraw money after you have traded an impossible minimum volume, or that you will have to pay withdrawal fees of 20%, 30% or even more. When you try to hold them accountable you will find they are using fake names and shell companies in shady offshore jurisdictions without any regulatory oversight.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SCAMMED
Your options to recover your money are limited. If credit/debit cards were used for the transactions, you have the possibility to request a chargeback. But most scammers insist that you send them proof of identity and address with which they can dispute that the transactions were legitimate. Fraudsters also predominantly use cryptocurrencies, where refunds are impossible.
You should also be aware that there are many scammers who offer to recover your money for an upfront fee. You should not trust such offers. It is better to contact the relevant authorities in your country and warn them about the activities of the scammers.