Is Your Forex Broker a Scam?

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Contributor, Benzinga
May 11, 2023

Avoid forex broker scams by using FOREX.com as your trusted broker.

While you can certainly find a reputable forex broker to trade in the mostly unregulated forex market, forex scams are also more common than you might expect. Therefore, a good case can be made for doing some research before opening an account with a forex trading platform or forex broker.

Knowing what to look for in a broker can help you avoid falling for a forex scam. Suppose you’ve never traded in the foreign exchange market (forex) and wish to become a successful forex trader. In that case, knowing how to choose a trusted forex broker is an important step toward achieving success in this highly competitive field. FX brokers should provide a demo account, a high-quality trading platform, and trading tools.

In this article, Benzinga examines the signs of a disreputable forex broker and offers insights to help you avoid falling for forex scams when looking for an online forex broker to trade through. 

What is a Forex Broker?

A forex or foreign exchange broker is a financial intermediary firm that offers a margin trading service to allow retail clients to trade currency pairs online. An online forex broker generally provides access to the forex market via one or more supported trading platforms.

How to Avoid Trading Forex With a Scam Broker

Benzinga has compiled some helpful tips below about how to choose a reputable forex broker so you can avoid falling for most forex broker scams. 

Do Broker Research

You can do research about forex brokers using independent moderated review sites like ForexPeaceArmy, which specializes in keeping online forex brokers honest. Trustpilot is another possible source of customer reviews for online forex brokers, although it lacks the careful oversight required to keep companies from giving themselves good reviews. You might also be able to check up on a forex broker that services U.S. clients by using the BrokerCheck service offered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to check for its licenses and outstanding legal actions.

Check for Complaints About Fund Withdrawl 

One of the major customer complaints that scamming forex brokers receive is that of substantially delaying or failing to allow customers to withdraw their trading funds. This action is a major red flag that you should take very seriously since it suggests your margin deposit may not be safe with that broker. 

Read the Fine Print

Online forex brokers operate in many different jurisdictions, so they are not consistently regulated. This means you will need to read through all the fine print when you sign an agreement with them to open a margin trading account. You will also want to read the details of any promotions offered to make sure you qualify for account-opening incentives and research how the fund withdrawal process works. 

Start with a Demo Account

A demo account is a good starting point for traders to explore forex trading without falling into a potential forex trading scam.

A demo account is a replica of a live account that allows you to trade using virtual money and simulated market conditions. By using a demo account, you can get a clear idea of how a broker's trading platform and services work, without risking any real money. This is particularly helpful for beginner traders who may not have a lot of experience with forex trading.

Open a Mini Account

If you are satisfied with the research you have done on a broker, you can usually open a mini account with them. You can then deposit only a small amount of trading capital so that you can trade in the account for a short period before trying to withdraw funds. This practice will let you test whether the broker is legit without risking the entire amount of your trading capital. 

Look Out for Churning

Excessive trading to generate commission is known as “churning.” This action is a possible risk if you give either your broker or an account manager that benefits from increased trading activity authority over your forex trading account, so watch out for it in such situations. 

Already Working with a Bad Broker?

If you suspect you are already working with a bad forex broker, first read all the fine print in your account agreement to make sure you didn’t miss something when you signed that document upon opening an account. 

If you still feel wronged, then let your broker know in writing about the legal actions you will take if the outstanding issues are not resolved promptly. Such actions can include making adverse comments online, reporting illegal or unethical actions to the broker’s regulator and taking legal action in a court of law with jurisdiction over the matter. 

What to Look for in a Forex Broker

The main consideration when choosing an online forex broker is whether your trading capital can be safely deposited with the firm. You’ll want to make certain that your money will be securely held by the broker in a segregated account from its own funds and that your funds can be readily withdrawn by you upon demand. 

Before depositing money with an online forex broker, you should first research the broker carefully to ensure the company is solvent and has a decent reputation with its clients. You’ll also want to check to make sure the broker is duly regulated and operates in a jurisdiction that provides you with legal recourse just in case a problem arises when you want to withdraw your money.

That means you will probably want to open an account with one of the larger online regulated forex broker firms that are overseen by one or more major regulatory agencies operating in a highly developed country

Forex Brokers You Can Trust

Even though many online forex brokers operate legitimately, you cannot trust just any broker that offers to open an account for you. Benzinga has taken the guesswork out of finding a reputable online forex broker by compiling the following comparison table of trustworthy forex brokers. 

  • Plus500 Forex
    Best For:
    Forex and CFD Trading for Mobile Users
    securely through Plus500 Forex's website
  • Forex.com
    Best For:
    Forex Traders in the U.S and Globablly
    securely through Forex.com's website

    CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% to 77.7% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

    The products and services available to you at FOREX.com will depend on your location and on which of its regulated entities holds your account

  • Trading.com
    Best For:
    Simple and Precise Forex Trading in the U.S.
    securely through Trading.com's website
  • IG Markets
    Best For:
    Fast Execution for U.S. Traders
    securely through IG Markets's website

    Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

  • City Index
    Best For:
    International Forex and CFD Traders
    securely through City Index's website

    CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Avoid Forex Trading Scams for Success in the Foreign Exchange Market

After conducting thorough research and evaluating various factors, if you have doubts about whether your forex broker is a scam, it is crucial to investigate further. Scam brokers often lure traders with irresistible low minimum deposits, attractive high leverage options, and bonus programs that turn out to be too good to be true. However, one of the most crucial questions that traders must ask themselves before investing their hard-earned money is whether the broker they have chosen is reliable and trustworthy.

If you suspect that your forex broker is engaging in fraudulent activities, it is critical to take immediate action. You should reach out to the relevant regulatory authorities to report the suspected misconduct and to seek advice on the best course of action.

Be aware of warning signs and don't fall victim to a forex scam. If you feel uncomfortable with your broker or have doubts about their honesty, it is best to switch to a brokerage firm that has a reputation for being transparent and following ethical practices. Conduct due diligence and be cautious in selecting a forex broker can help safeguard your investments from scams and facilitate successful trading.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Is forex trading legit?

A

Forex trading involves trading currency pairs. This type of trading is a perfectly legitimate activity retail traders can engage in via a variety of online forex brokers. However, not all such brokers are legit, so careful research is recommended before opening and funding a trading account with a forex broker you are unfamiliar with.

Q

Is forex a scam?

A

The foreign exchange market is the largest financial market in the world and is not a forex scam. Despite that fact, some disreputable individuals or firms might try to scam unsuspecting retail forex traders, so caution is strongly advised when depositing your trading capital with unfamiliar companies.

Q

Can a forex broker steal your money?

A

Not legally, but then not all online forex brokers operate legally. Make sure a forex broker is not a scam company by researching it thoroughly before making a margin deposit.

Disclosure: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Get a Forex Pro on Your Side

FOREX.com, registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), lets you trade a wide range of forex markets with low pricing and fast, quality execution on every trade. 

You can also tap into:

  • EUR/USD as low as 0.2 with fixed $5 commissions per 100,000
  • Powerful, purpose-built currency trading platforms
  • Monthly cash rebates of up to $9 per million dollars traded with FOREX.com’s Active Trader Program

Learn more about FOREX.com’s low pricing and how you can get started trading with FOREX.com.

About Jay and Julie Hawk

Jay and Julie Hawk are the married co-founders of TheFXperts, a provider of financial writing services particularly renowned for its coverage of forex-related topics. With over 40 years of collective trading expertise and more than 15 years of collaborative writing experience, the Hawks specialize in crafting insightful financial content on trading strategies, market analysis and online trading for a broad audience. While their prolific writing career includes seven books and contributions to numerous financial websites and newswires, much of their recent work was published at Benzinga.