Fraud exists as long as markets do, and Forex market has never been an exclusion from this rule. The good news is that scammers usually don’t invent something extraordinary. Most of the Forex frauds based on simple things thus they can be detected. We’ve joined forces with LST-IC to create some sort of checklist to detect a possible fraudster which is only pretending to be a reliable broker.
Some people tend to think that one of the distinguishing features of a scammer is loud and tasteless promo campaign, but that is not necessarily so. “I wish it was so simple. May be their marketing department does something wrong, or the campaign in badly targeted. Not every brokerage which is being aggressively promoted, is a scammer”, Jonathan Singh, LST-IC development director, explains. There are several other tools to detect possible scam, which are simple but much more effective.
According to Forex broker LST-IC experience, first way to detect a scammer starts at brokerage official website. “Scammers very often just don’t understand what the shop window is and why it is important”, Singh says. These scammers’ websites do not live for a long time; they close or just abandon them easily as soon as they gather enough money from their clients. “They use some ready to use web design patterns, their sites look very lame and empty – at LST-IC we believe scammers can be identified by their websites, as for many of them it is rather some formal thing”, he adds.
Another feature of this kind is the approach to website content – lack of information, links leading to nowhere, numerous mistakes etc. According to Singh, it is almost inevitable. Imagine you launch these websites all the time, one after another. One day you just start copying that content with all its mistakes from the previous versions, as it is faster and cheaper. “LST-IC as legit broker can’t neglect the content, but fraudsters don’t have this problem”, Singh explains.
There is one more key thing – abnormally big bonuses for traders who help engaging new customers. “I don’t mean referral bonuses or partner schemes as they are. This is one of the marketing tools, you can use them even if you are not a fraudster like LST-IC does”, he adds. The key thing is those referral payments shouldn’t be bigger than profits from the trading itself. If they are, that is most likely a good old Ponzi scheme, pattern which is well-known but nevertheless is still in use.
Then comes another LST-IC fraud detection perk. “Check the minimal deposit size. It is actually the entry ticket, it shouldn’t be worth $1000 or some other amount close to it. The mass market user is just not ready to deposit such money at once, therefore high threshold makes no sense if a broker is good to trade”, Singh says.
Another thing to mention in our scam review with LST-IC is things related to payments. To cut the long story short, the less methods are available, the bigger odds that you are about to get scammed. Deposits and withdrawals only in crypto is very bad sign. “We support crypto payments – if you ask me personally, I am not a fan of crypto, but some traders are, and we are taking it into account. LST-IC doesn’t consider cryptocurrencies as fraudsters’ distinguishing feature, for us it is just a method of payment with all its pros and cons”, Singh explains. Nevertheless it is much more reliable, when crypto payments are listed along with conservative, but trusted and reliable methods. “Everybody can have a crypto wallet, it is not a problem, you never know who its real owner is. But becoming a payment system partner of SWIFT affiliated partner is much more challenging thing to do”, he adds.
The last but not least thing to take into account when selecting Forex broker are various scam reviews, according to LST-IC. Some of them are good enough and informative, some aren’t. But if you are about to trust your money to somebody, you would most likely be interested to know what happened to other people who did it earlier. “The reviews of specific Forex broker’s scams can be useful. But I wouldn’t say the same about various scam lists with many companies included. These are most likely written by people who don’t trade themselves, or they are even paid by some of our competitors. How do they know, for example, whether LST-IC is legit broker or not, if they haven’t been our clients? It’s up to you, of course, but the credibility of these lists seems dubious”, Singh says.
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