Beware! FCF Markets 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.
FCF Markets is an unregulated broker situated in a country that doesn’t license forex brokerage. Despite its claims that it “should be your first choice broker” in fact it’s just the opposite – it would be a very bad decision at least to say. Don’t trust this broker, as it isn’t authorized to offer financial services.
What’s more FCF Markets offers very disadvantageous trading conditions like high spreads from 2.8 pips. Its trading software also seems very insufficient and even dysfunctional. So if you want to trade with metals, energies, shares or cryptocurrencies you better look for a legitimate broker instead. Keep reading the full review for more details on why we consider FCF Markets a scam broker.
Regulation and safety of funds
FCF Markets claims its registered address to be in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. As we already mentioned this country doesn’t regulate forex brokerage activities and the proof can be found on the FSA’s website. The Financial Services Authority of St. Vincent and the Grenadines posts this warning the moment you visit its site, take a look:
Being unlicensed means that the broker doesn’t follow any rules and is not supervised by any financial watchdog. Moreover you won’t be able to get any client protection in case things go wrong, that’s why FCA warns potential investors that trading with unregulated brokers would be at their own risk.
This broker also claims to be owned and operated by ECC CORP LLC and provides an email address and phone number. Although it’s always good to know who exactly stays behind the website, this doesn’t change the fact that FCF Markets is an offshore broker without a legit forex license. Note that scam brokers tend to operate from such offshore locations exactly because of the freedom they have. They don’t play it by the book at least to say – expect all kinds of tricks and frauds with such unregulated firms especially when it comes to payment methods, but that’s another story. Don’t trust such shady brokers no matter what they claim.
For example FCF Markets promises to keep your funds in safe, segregated accounts, however we highly doubt that. Licensed brokers are obligated to store their clients’ funds apart from their own capital, but since FCF Markets isn’t authorized there’s no reason to believe it complies with the rules.
Furthermore legitimate brokers have to meet some more requirements in order to operate legally. Licensed brokers in the EU and the UK must have at least 730 000 EUR of minimum capital, while those in the US – at least 20 000 000 USD. What’s more, if you trade with legitimate brokers in the UK or the EU you can also benefit from a compensation in case the broker goes bankrupt – up to 85 000 GBP for the UK or up to 20 000 000 for most of the countries in the EU.
FCF Markets claims its trading software to be “proven and reliable” and accessible through both mobile and web.
We registered in a couple of seconds, as its registration form didn’t require much – only names, address and phone number. The platform we saw was far from being “proven” or “reliable”. Take a look at it down below:
As you see there are only basic tools and indicators. But that’s not the worst part of it. It seems that you can’t really trade here, as there are no Bid and Ask amounts and no data about the spread or leverage this broker provides. In fact there’s something fishy going on here and this broker starts to look more and more shady.
To be absolutely sure you can trade safely we suggest choosing a regulated broker with a proven reputation. Such firms would also offer the industry standard MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5, which are proven and reliable – but this time for real.
MT4 and MT5 are appropriate even for both advanced traders and beginners. You can be assured that the safety of your funds and personal information is granted as all transactions are encrypted as well as your IP address.
You can also choose between a wide range of educational resources, forex news and technical analysis tools. Most of the customers consider the trading bots to be the best part however. These bots, also called Expert Advisors, analyze the forex market in a search of certain conditions and then perform trading operations once they find them.
MT5 and MT4 can be easily downloaded on PCs, smartphones and tablets and have regular updates. Unfortunately, since Apple removed both MetaTrader 4 and 5 from its AppStore, these platforms can’t be downloaded any more from iPhone/ iPad users. All of you that have already installed the apps can continue using them, but without the above-mentioned updates. On the contrary you can still download MT4 and MT5 from Google Play Store.
FCF Markets claims to offer four different account types – Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Take a look at some more details about the first one:
The Bronze account offers a minimum deposit of 250 USD, which is a pretty standard amount as most reputable brokers tend to ask for the same sum anyway. So definitely no reason to invest here.
This broker also seems to offer a leverage of 1:30, which is in line with the requirements in the UK and the EU – the leverage there is limited exactly to 1:30 because of the associated risk of trading with higher amounts. However this doesn’t really matter as FCF Markets isn’t regulated by any jurisdiction and doesn’t follow any guidelines as well. This makes this broker especially dangerous, no matter what leverage it offers. On the other hand if you want to invest with high leverage it would be best to choose a reliable firm – we suggest looking at some of the offshore subsidiaries of reputable forex brokers.
FCF Markets mentions a spread from 2.8 pips for its Bronze account. This amount is too high and will definitely come with higher trading costs. Not to mention that after we saw its trading platform there was no data about the spread, so we are not sure if you can trade here at all. If you want to invest with tight spreads below 2 pips it would be way better to choose a licensed broker instead.
Deposit/Withdrawal methods and fees
On its website FCF Markets mentions two types of payment methods it accepts – credit/debit card and bank transfer. After we registered however things turned out to be slightly different. There was a credit/debit card option and deposit with Bitcoin. See for yourself:
While the debit/credit card alternative seemed to work fine, bear in mind that crypto payments are associated with scam techniques, as these transactions are proven to be completely irreversible. So we definitely don’t recommend investing with this shady broker, especially with crypto coins like Bitcoin.
How does the scam work
Be very careful to whom you provide your personal information like email or phone number. The moment scammers have your number they will start calling you in an attempt to make you invest right away.
They will most certainly assure you that trading with them is risk-free, which is highly doubtful at least to say. Also be prepared to hear that you can get a fast and incredibly high return on investment – this is also a shameless lie of course. Scammers tend to sweet-talk traders into making a deposit and then vanish like thin air.
Before that however they might try to manipulate their trading software so it looks as if your money is being invested. They might also fool you into believing that your results are very profitable. This is done with one specific purpose – to make you invest even more before you find out that everything is a lie.
Expect all kinds of hidden fees the moment you try to withdraw even a cent and what is the worst part – to find out that a withdrawal is declined no matter what you do.
What to do when scammed
If you have been scammed, the first thing you can do is to turn to the bank that issued your credit or debit card and ask for a chargeback. If you have paid with your Visa/ Mastercard, a chargeback is eligible within 540 days.
Wire transfers are more difficult to return, and the best thing you can do in this situation is to change your online banking username and password as soon as possible.
Using payment methods like Neteller, Paypal or Skrill also gives you the opportunity to open a dispute in case of online scam.
Unfortunately crypto transactions are irreversible as we already stated and therefore your money can not be returned. All in all we advise you not to trust brokers that use only crypto coins such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Last but not least, certainly don’t trust people on the internet offering to return your funds only after you pay a certain fee. They might also be scammers so don’t risk losing more money than you already have!