The spot forex market traded over $6.6 trillion a day as of April 2019, including currency options and futures contracts.1 With this enormous amount of money floating around in an unregulated spot market that trades instantly, over the counter, with no accountability, forex scams offer unscrupulous operators the lure of earning fortunes in limited amounts of time. While many once-popular scams have ceased—thanks to serious enforcement actions by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the 1982 formation of the self-regulatory National Futures Association (NFA)—some old scams linger, and new ones keep popping up.
Back in the Day: The Point-Spread Scam
An old point-spread forex scam was based on computer manipulation of bid-ask spreads. The point spread between the bid and ask basically reflects the commission of a back-and-forth transaction processed through a broker. These spreads typically differ between currency pairs. The scam occurs when those point spreads differ widely among brokers.
* Many scams in the forex market are no longer as pervasive due to tighter regulations, but some problems still exist.
* One shady practice is when forex brokers offer wide bid-ask spreads on certain currency pairs, making it more difficult to earn profits on trades.
* Be careful of any offshore, unregulated broker.
* Individuals and companies that market systems—like signal sellers or robot trading—sometimes sell products that are not tested and do not yield profitable results.
* If the forex broker is commingling funds or limiting customer withdrawals, it could be an indicator that something fishy is going on.
For instance, some brokers do not offer the normal two-point to three-point spread in the EUR/USD but spreads of seven pips or more. (A pip is the smallest price move that a given exchange rate makes based on market convention. Since most major currency pairs are priced to four decimal places, the smallest change is that of the last decimal point.) Factor in four or more additional pips on every trade, and any potential gains resulting from a good trade can be eaten away by commissions, depending on how the forex broker structures their fees for trading.
This scam has quieted down over the last 10 years, but be careful of any offshore retail brokers that are not regulated by the CFTC, NFA, or their nation of origin. These tendencies still exist, and it’s quite easy for firms to pack up and disappear with the money when confronted with actions. Many saw a jail cell for these computer manipulations. But the majority of violators have historically been United States-based companies, not the offshore ones.
The Signal-Seller Scam
A popular modern-day scam is the signal seller.
Signal sellers are retail firms, pooled asset managers, managed account companies, or individual traders that offer a system—for a daily, weekly, or monthly fee—that claims to identify favorable times to buy or sell a currency pair based on professional recommendations that will make anyone wealthy. They tout their long experience and trading abilities, plus testimonials from people who vouch for how great a trader and friend the person is, and the vast wealth that this person has earned for them. All the unsuspecting trader has to do is hand over X amount of dollars for the privilege of trade recommendations.
Many of signal-seller scammers simply collect money from a certain number of traders and disappear. Some will recommend a good trade now and then, to allow the signal money to perpetuate. This new scam is slowly becoming a wider problem. Although there are signal sellers who are honest and perform trade functions as intended, it pays to be skeptical.
“Robot” Scamming in Today’s Market
A persistent scam, old and new, presents itself in some types of forex-developed trading systems. These scammers tout their system’s ability to generate automatic trades that, even while you sleep, earn vast wealth. Today, the new terminology is “robot” because the process is fully automated with computers. Either way, many of these systems have never been submitted for formal review or tested by an independent source.
Examination of a forex robot must include the testing of a trading system’s parameters and optimization codes. If the parameters and optimization codes are invalid, the system will generate random buy and sell signals. This will cause unsuspecting traders to do nothing more than gamble. Although tested systems exist on the market, potential forex traders should do some research before putting money into one of these approaches.
Boiler room scams
This type of scam involves the scammers usually getting people to buy shares in a worthless private company on the promise that when the company goes public their shares will increase substantially. They depend on using “urgency” – suggesting that an opportunity will be lost if they do not act quickly which prevents the target from being able to research the opportunity properly. However, often the company doesn’t really exist and may have a fake telephone number, office and website. Once the scammers have made all the money they can, they will disappear with everyone’s investments.
High yield investment program
High yield investment program (HYIP) are frequently just a form of Ponzi scheme in which a high level of return is promised for a small initial investment into what is in fact a Forex fund. However, in reality, the initial investors are being paid back from the money generated by the current investors and a constant flow of new investors is required to keep the funds flowing, once there are no more investors in the scheme the owners usually close it down and take all the remaining money.
Manipulation of bid/ask spreads
These types of scams have decreased over the years yet they are still around. This is why it is important to choose a Forex broker who is registered with a regulatory agency. These type of scams would normally involve having spreads of around 7-8 pips instead of between 2-3 pips which is the norm.
Other Factors to Consider
Traditionally, many trading systems have been quite costly, up to $5,000 or more. This can be viewed as a scam in itself. No trader should pay more than a few hundred dollars for a proper system today. Be especially careful of system sellers who offer programs at exorbitant prices justified by a guarantee of phenomenal results. Instead, look for legitimate sellers whose systems have been properly tested to potentially earn income.
What do I do if I have been scammed?
Skyline recovery is a leading funds recovery company with a team of experienced professionals specializing in Forex fraud. they assists traders in civil and criminal actions against unregulated Forex companies, online internet fraudsters, and pyramid schemes created on a Ponzi-style structure. They also specializes in legal actions against Binary Options trading companies. Recovering funds in the forex trading market is difficult. The difficulty increases when you use an unregulated broker. Adding to the problem is the near impossibility of recompense from the scammers who defrauded you. But we at skyline have a proven track record of success in helping investors who have been the victims of a scam or fraud. We are a regulated recovery company that focuses on some of the more complicated financial investments: forex, binary options, cryptocurrency, and stocks. In addition to our professional forex recovery services, our team of experts focuses on customer outreach and we attempt to mitigate the damage that fraudulent actors have caused to our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation or send us an email and our professionals will work with you throughout the entire process to get you maximum returns!
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Aldwych Securities LLC is one of the leading recovery firms worldwide. Specializing in online trading scams (Forex, Binary Options, Crypto, etc), we pride ourselves on having one of the highest success rates in the industry.