We are greeted by the statement that Startrader is “the fastest growing broker in the world” on its website. We have learned to be wary of such assertions, particularly when they are made by unknown companies. The website of an offshore broker named Startrader seems to be reputable enough, but it offers contradictory details about the owner and scant details regarding trading conditions.
Regulation of Startrader and the safety of funds
The most important thing to know about a financial services provider is how they are regulated. Licensed brokers can give you a lot of information about the business that runs them, their location, the areas where they are allowed to do business, and the organizations that keep an eye on how they do business.
According to the material on the website’s main page, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines-based company Startrader LLC is responsible for this brokerage (SVG).
Undoubtedly, there is such a business among those listed as registered in the SVG. Nevertheless, there is no assurance that customers will be protected as a result. SVG is an offshore jurisdiction without broker rules. As soon as you access the website of the organization, you can see a warning that the local Financial Services Authority does not license forex brokers or any other kind of broker and does not oversee the operations of international business companies involved in such activities.
The Customer Agreement and the remainder of the legal documents, however, are owned by a different business, IV International LLC, as we discover when we open them on the Startrader website.
This company, which has its headquarters in SVG as well, runs the brokerage IV Markets, whose review can be seen here. What the connection is between the two businesses is not explained. While we can’t definitively declare that Startrader is a fraud, these contradictions make it difficult to accept the company’s claims that it is a reliable and secure broker.
If you want to invest in financial instruments, you should work with a registered broker in a country with strict rules, especially if you are just starting as a trader. Selecting a business that is governed by a body like the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the US, the Australian Securities and Exchanges Commission (ASIC), the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or an EU regulator like the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission is advised depending on where you live (CySEC).
Some of the ways these brokers protect their clients are through negative balance security and keeping client funds separate from broker funds. Brokers are also required to take part in guarantee programs in the EU and the UK, which protect a portion of the trader’s money if the broker goes bankrupt. The maximum value of these assurances is 20,000 EUR in the EU and 80,000 GBP in the UK.
The chance of this happening is low, though, because regulators also require businesses to have a lot of net capital: EUR 730,000 in the UK and Cyprus, AUD 1,000,000 in Australia, and at least USD 20,000,000 in the US.
Trading software from Startrader
Startrader makes use of the MT4 platform, which is the industry standard. It especially makes use of the MT4 platform, which is registered under the name IV Markets. Nevertheless, the login information provided by Startrader can be utilized to access the platform. This is how it appears:
Many authorized brokers are offering MT4 and/or the more recent MT5 software to customers. These platforms have become the norm in the industry because of their extensive feature set, which includes a variety of customization options, support for multiple accounts, the ability to create and use unique scripts for automatic trading, as well as the ability to backtest trading strategies.
The trading condition of Startrader
Regular and ECN are the two account categories that Startrade offers. The trading site does display the 1.3-pip spread that the basic account promises.
ECN accounts provide a raw spread that is almost nil, but the trader must pay a set commission per lot traded in exchange. Yet, the starter does not offer details about commissions. This indicates that the conditions for trading with such an account are not entirely apparent.
All account types have a 1:500 leverage ratio. This is not the level that authorized brokers to operate at. Higher profits are possible when using high leverage, but the risk of excessive and sudden losses also rises proportionately. All major authorities restrict the use of leverage by retail traders. The highest permissible amount is 1:30 in the US, the EU, the UK, and Australia. This upper limit only pertains to trading major currency pairs; for more volatile assets, leverage is even more constrained.
The Startrader requires a minimum deposit of fifty dollars. You should be aware that many respectable brokers, including some of the top names in the sector, would allow you to register a beginning account for the same or even less money.
Deposit and withdrawal methods and fees for Startrader
Startrader has a good number of ways to deposit and withdraw money, such as bank transfers, credit cards, cryptocurrencies, and e-wallets like Skrill, Neteller, and PerfectMoney.
Star trader claims that there are no transaction costs but cautions that wire transfers may incur bank fees of up to USD 20.
How does the fraud occur?
Many are tempted to try their luck in the financial markets by stories of people becoming wealthy using cryptocurrencies. But you must exercise extreme caution to avoid falling victim to any of the numerous scammers active in the online world. These con artists merely pass themselves off as brokers and entice you with claims that they will handle the complex facets of investing for you.
If you get in touch with these con artists, they will initially persuade you to send them a tiny deposit of a few hundred dollars. To get you to pay them more money, they could even temporarily deceive you into thinking your investment is making fantastic profits. Yet, your money won’t be put to use. Also, you will discover that it is hard to retrieve your alleged winnings or even your initial money.
The con artists can claim that a sudden shift in the market has cost you all of your investments. They may also point to parts of their Terms and Conditions that say you have to meet impossible-to-meet minimum trading volume requirements before you can get your money. And because these scam websites hide behind fake names and offshore businesses that don’t have to follow laws and rules, they can disappear quickly.
How to Respond to a Scam
If you become a victim of scammers, you should alert the appropriate authorities in your country and warn other prospective victims online. The likelihood of getting your money back, though, is low.
If you paid with a credit or debit card, you could ask for a chargeback. Yet, if you’ve given the fraudsters identification verification, like a copy of a driver’s license, you can dispute such requests. You should never believe online scammers who ask for a fee upfront and promise to retrieve your money. They are undoubtedly con artists as well.
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