Beware! Fonicypro 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 Fonicypro website is extremely clunky and messy, which in itself is a clear sign that this is not the legitimate and trustworthy forex broker it claims to be. Closer inspection confirms that there is no good reason to trust this website with your money. Fonicypro is part of a network of fraudulent websites that try to take advantage of people with insufficient experience and knowledge of financial trading.
FONICYPRO 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.
According to the homepage of the website, the owner company is called Fonicy Pro Ltd, but it is not stated where it is based. The only method of contact is email.
According to the FAQ section, this company is incorporated in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). This is an offshore area where no brokerage regulations are in place.
However, the text of the Client Agreement is on behalf of a completely different company, A1 Trading Option Ltd., which is also allegedly based in the SVG.
But verification shows that these companies are not among those registered in this offshore zone. We find no evidence that these legal entities actually exist.
Other documents on the Fonicypro website, such as the Risk Disclosure, are on behalf of a third different company, Tio Markets ltd.
The documents also reference the tiomarkets.com domain. This website is completely identical to Fonicypro’s. It should be noted that there is a legitimate broker using this trade name, but it operates through the tiomarkets.uk domain. You can read a review of this genuine broker here.
Whoever the actual owner of Fonicypro is, we can be pretty sure they are not a licensed and regulated financial services provider.
If you have decided to invest in financial instruments, and especially if you are a novice trader, you should use the services of a licensed broker based in a jurisdiction with strong regulations.
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.
FONICYPRO TRADING SOFTWARE
The Fonicypro website promises potential clients that they will be able to use the industry’s two most popular trading platforms, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5).
But after registering an account we do not get access to any trading software. Fonicypro does not have the technological capacity to facilitate trading in financial instruments.
There are plenty of legitimate, regulated brokers who enable their clients to take advantage of MT4 and MT5‘s capabilities. These platforms have established themselves as leaders because they offer a wide range of features, including a wide variety of options for customization, multiple account usage, designing and implementing custom scripts for automated trading and backtesting trade strategies.
FONICYPRO TRADING CONDITIONS
Various types of trading accounts are listed on the Fonicypro website, with descriptions promising low spreads and commissions, as well as 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 specified minimum deposit is 100 GBP. For the equivalent amount you could open an account with almost any licensed broker. Many leading brands offer beginner traders Micro accounts with even lower minimum deposits.
But in Fonicypro’s Dashboard, we see a choice not between trading accounts, but investment plans promising high and guaranteed returns.
A genuine broker will not and cannot promise you guaranteed profits. In fact, licensed companies are obliged by regulators to warn their clients about the high risk of losses when trading financial instruments.
FONICYPRO DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
But again, the reality is different – Fonicypro only accepts deposits via cryptocurrencies.
This is typical of financial scammers. Cryptocurrencies are their payment method of choice because on the one hand they allow the scammer a degree of anonymity, and on the other hand they do not allow the scammed to ask for a refund.
The only fee specified in the Fonicypro Client Agreement is that for an inactive account. This fee is 30 USD per month.
How does the scam works
Many people have a desire to invest in the financial markets but lack the necessary knowledge and experience. This makes them a potential victim of the many internet scammers posing as brokers and investment intermediaries. These types of scams have exploded alongside the cryptocurrency boom.
If you trust such a website and give them your personal information, you will be contacted by experienced scammers who will entice you with promises of easy profits. The scammers usually offer to take over all aspects of investing for you, sometimes even prompting you to install remote access software on your personal computer. After investing an initial low amount, they will convince you that you are already making incredible profits and urge you to invest more.
But you will never get the promised profits, nor will you be able to get your money back. If you want to withdraw funds from your account, you will find that you have suddenly lost everything in the market, or that you have to meet impossibly high traded volume requirements, or that you have to pay huge fees. It is also possible that fraudsters simply disappear because they hide behind fake names and shell companies in offshore areas that are not subject to any control and regulation.
What to do when scammed
One of the few options to get at least some of your money back in such a situation is to ask for a chargeback. But this is only possible if you have used a credit or debit card for the transaction. Scammers typically use cryptocurrencies or dubious e-wallets that make it impossible to get your money back.
Under no circumstances should you trust people and websites that promise to magically refund your lost money for an upfront fee. This is also a well established scam. You may even fall victim to the same scammers again.