September 07, 2017
In this article, we discuss the most common forex scams, and the main regulatory bodies of the major countries worldwide. The forex market is relatively new for retail traders, and many dishonest people try to sell their “tools” to traders who want to make money. Ads like “Buy my trading system to pocket 1,000 pips per day without risk” are one of the most common scams in forex. Those also includes trading robots, managed accounts, broker scams and other. We will cover them in the following lines and show how you can protect yourself.
Always remember the best way to protect yourself from scams is to rely on your own trading and analysis but please you use this article as a guide. There is no holy grail in forex trading that will make you profitable with the click of a button.
However, not all offers are scams, as there are also legit managed account providers, forex signals providers and trading robots in the market. If you really want to try a forex signal provider, or forex robot, make sure to make your research before you pay any amount to the provider.
Now let’s look at some potential account types that are popular scams.
Forex Managed Accounts
Forex managed accounts are operated by a professional trader, who trades the capital of investors for a percentage of the profits. Although there are also legit forex managed accounts, a lot of them are shady where the only intention of the “professional trader” is to take your money.
Once you invest your hard-earned money with the scammer, you will most likely not see your money again. Always make your due-diligence of these offers, and check on the internet or with relevant authorities if the offer is legit or a scam.
Forex robots are programs that are loaded into your trading platform, which then automatically open and close positions based on some algorithms and current prices. However, most of them are not programmed to operate in different market conditions, which can then lead to huge losses.
Forex robots often rely on simple technical rules such as moving average crossovers, to open and manage your trades. The problem is, many of the sellers claim that their robots are “always profitable”, and that you never have to trade again by yourself. Most of those offers are scams and you should practice your own trading instead of relying on shady forex robots.
Forex signals are very similar to trading robots, with the difference that they only give you the entry and exit points to act upon, and don’t execute the trades. Forex signal providers will send you the targets via email or SMS, after you have subscribed to their service for a fee.
The problem is that most of these services rely on the same algorithms as forex robots, and aren’t profitable in all market conditions, if at all. However, just like with managed accounts, there are legit forex signal providers where professionals analyze the market. Check which providers are legit by researching on online forums and discussing with other traders.
You should always deposit your money only with a well-known and regulated broker. There are many brokers out there who try to cheat on their clients. Some of the popular methods is to charge substantially higher spreads than normal, or to try to “hunt” your stops by artificial price movements (called “stop hunting”).
Protect yourself from these scams by choosing regulated brokers with good user reviews on the internet. Regulated brokers are registered as Futures Commission Merchants (FCM) with the CFTC in the United States, or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom.
US Regulatory Agencies
In the United States, there are two major regulatory agencies: the CFTC and the NFA.
The CFTC (Commodity Futures Trade Commission) was formed in 1974 to protect futures and commodities traders. The CFTC also publishes the popular Commitment of Traders (COT) report which we covered earlier. The CFTC’s mission is to protect market participants from fraud and manipulation in the financial markets, and you can find their website here: www.cftc.gov
The NFA (National Futures Association) was formed in 1982 to regulate the futures market in the United States. As currencies are also traded on the futures market, it regulates the forex market as well. The NFA is overseen by the CFTC, and its mission is to ensure the integrity of the futures industry, protect market participants and enforce NFA members to meet their regulatory responsibilities. The NFA website can be found here: www.nfa.futures.org
Foreign Regulatory Agencies
United Kingdom: Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – a non-governmental agency, with the objective to protect consumers and promote healthy competition in the financial services industry. – www.fca.org.uk
Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) – the PRA is part of Bank of England, with the goal to promote a healthy financial system in the UK – www.bankofengland.co.uk/pra
Switzerland: Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) – the financial regulator of banks, securities dealers and stock exchanges in Switzerland – www.finma.ch
Australia: Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) – financial regulator of companies, financial markets, insurance industry and financial services in Australia – www.asic.gov.au
European Union: European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) – the European Union financial regulatory institution and European supervisory authority – www.esma.europa.eu
Japan: Financial Services Agency (FSA) – an agency of the Japanese government that oversees banking, securities and exchange, and insurance sectors in Japan – www.fsa.go.jp/en/