Win-traders review – 5 things you should know about win-traders.com

Win-traders review – 5 things you should know about win-traders.com

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Beware! Win-traders is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.

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A website with a name like Win-traders should not expect to be taken seriously. But Win-traders expects us to believe that it is an established regulated broker that we can trust with our investments. Fact checking confirms that we are justified in being suspicious. Win-traders is in fact a blatant scam illegally using the details of a legitimate company.

WIN-TRADERS REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS

The most important information about a financial services provider is its regulatory status. Licensed brokers provide detailed information about which company runs them, where it is based, which jurisdictions it is authorised in and which regulatory bodies oversee its activities.

The Win-traders website does not look convincing and lacks important attributes such as a disclaimer about the risk of trading financial instruments. In the footer of the website we see a statement that the name of the owning company is Trading 212 Ltd.

Such a company exists and it is licensed to provide brokerage services in the UK and Bulgaria. But this company operates under the trade name Trading 212 and through the domain trading212.com. Win-traders has nothing to do with the legitimate broker and uses the details of this company illegally.

In addition, the text of the Terms and Conditions does not mention the name of a legal entity and does not specify an applicable jurisdiction. The Privacy Policy mentions another company, Trade Ltd.

When choosing a broker through which to invest in the financial markets, you should not only make sure that all the information required by law is available, but also that this information is true. Always check that the company is indeed on the records of the specified regulator and that the domain used is among those officially approved for the particular broker.

You should only trust legitimate brokers operating in one of the established financial centres like the UK, EU, USA or Australia. There, the activities of brokers are controlled by powerful regulatory bodies such as UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in US or Australian Securities and Exchanges Commission (ASIC). 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.

WIN-TRADERS TRADING SOFTWARE

On the Win-traders website, we find links to questionable mobile trading apps using a different brand – 4XF.

After registering an account we get access to a basic web trading platform. Here’s what it looks like:

While the platform has the basic features for placing orders, customising charts and application of technical indicators, it lacks the more advanced functionality found in the most widely used trading platforms in the industry, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (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.

It should be noted that the presence of some kind of trading software is no guarantee that this is a genuine broker. Financial scammers often use trading platforms to fool their victims that their money is actually being invested. However, this trading is entirely fictitious and the money goes directly into the scammers’ pockets.

WIN-TRADERS TRADING CONDITIONS

Legitimate forex brokers offer a variety of trading account types tailored to the needs of clients with different capital and investment intentions. These brokers also provide clear and detailed information on trading parameters – leverage, spread, commissions, order execution method, etc.

There is no information on the Win-traders website regarding trading parameters. Account registration requires a choice between multiple account types, but nowhere is it specified what the associated account terms are.

After logging in to the client dashboard we find an option to choose a leverage between 1:100 and 1:500. This is further evidence that Win-traders could not really be a licensed broker operating in the UK or EU.

These are not levels 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.

In the trading platform, we see a spread of almost 3 pips for the benchmark currency pair EUR/USD. This is double the industry average. This means that even if Win-traders were to offer true trading, it would be unprofitable for the trader.

WIN-TRADERS DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES

Win-traders claims to offer multiple payment methods for deposits and withdrawals. But there are no active options in the deposit menu itself. Scammers of this type typically promise popular conventional payment methods but steer their potential victims towards cryptocurrency transactions. The reason for this is that this deprives the defrauded of the opportunity to request a refund.

While there are some legitimate brokers that accept digital currencies like Bitcoin, they do so alongside other transparent payment methods such as credit/debit card, bank transfer or popular e-wallets like PayPal, Neteller or Skrill.

The Terms and Conditions state that withdrawals are subject to processing and handling fees. However, the amount of these fees and the conditions attached to the withdrawal are not specified. As one would expect, legitimate forex brokers provide clear and detailed information on these matters.

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.

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