Foreign exchange? Bonds? Stocks? Deposits? It seems like everyone is putting their extra money to work these days, investing in something or another. If you’ve read the first line and have no clue what we’re talking about, you should do some research, because you are missing out on good opportunities to make something out of your spare change. In today’s global reality, technology has made investing very simple and possibilities are endless.
Having said that, you must also remember that with every opportunity there’s also some risk – especially if you’re new to the game. And we’re not just talking about making bad investment decisions. You should be extra careful of the many crooks and scoundrels out there, who may promise you the moon and stars, but end up taking your money and vanishing into thin air.
Even if you’ve never invested a cent in your life (yet), you’ve probably heard of quite a few forex trading scams. While the scenery changes, the idea behind the mechanism is usually the same. A “trading website” lures you to deposit money in an account and to start trading foreign currencies on their platform. At this point, one of two things happens: either you lose your money after getting bad investment advice from the website’s “brokers”, or you gain money but when you want to withdraw it, there’s no one to talk to.
Are all trading websites operating as scams?
There are a whole lot of these shady websites out there. Trading through a financial institution like a bank or a well-known brokerage firm is always safer, but they offer limited service and usually charge high commissions and fees. Their service hours are also limited, making them not ideal for people who wish to trade anywhere and at any time.
If you decide to go for a trading website, one good way to know if it’s an honest one, is simply to Google its name. In a matter of seconds you can get access to the company’s history and to reviews written about it. Take a moment to read some of these reviews – both positive and negative – to get a better picture. Remember to also Google the name of the company which owns the site (go to the ‘About Us’ page on the website, the company’s name is usually there).
Is there anybody who supervises these websites?
The most important factor you should be looking at is whether the forex trading company is regulated and licensed or not – and by who. There are a number of official regulating bodies, based in different places around the world, and the trading companies will proudly display their regulation and license on the website. If no information of this sort is provided, assume that the website is not regulated and, therefore, isn’t where you want to invest.
However, even when going for a regulated website, you need to take a closer look at the type of regulation. While these websites serve traders all around the world, they have offices somewhere and are therefore under the laws of a nation – including its financial regulatory bodies. It’s no secret that these sites usually choose to have their base in countries where regulation and inspection is lax. That’s why you need to know a thing or two about these bodies as well.
How do I know if a regulatory body is strict enough?
There’s no way to really compare these institutions, since each one abides by its country’s standards. There are a few ways to evaluate them, though. First of all, regulatory bodies of larger countries tend to be stricter. A forex website regulated, let’s say, by American institutions (the CFTC and the NFA) is more trustworthy. Same goes for EU member countries.
However, the best way to know a thing or two about regulatory bodies is to read about them. Asking Google here is also a good option, but you can also consult with professionals – your accountant or insurance provider, for example. Bottom line is that you should be aware of who gives the approval stamp to the website you want to trust your money with, and that you should make an effort to gain as much knowledge as you can before taking out your wallet.
I’ve been scammed, what can I do?
If the crooks have gotten to you, don’t panic. We can help you in your efforts to retrieve your money. We’ve been doing it for a few good years now, with over 500 satisfied customers to our name. Simply fill out the ‘free case review’ form on our website and we’ll get back to you ASAP. Remember: The sooner we start the legal process, the higher our chances of success are.