RatingFX: independent rating of Forex brokers
Zurich Prime Rip-off
According to Autorité des Marchés Financiers, about 80% of traders lose sizeable amounts of money to bucket shops. So before you open an account with a broker or put your money into it, go online and look for feedback by real users that have dealt with the broker in question. Usually, bucket shops are quite easily revealed by a huge number of negative reviews left by cheated traders on various forums.
Admittedly, every year there are more and more victims of online scammers that style themselves as reputable and legitimate brokers. The risk of getting yourself into a fraud increases several fold if you are not an experienced trader. Promises of low spreads, big margin, high bonuses crowned with a small initial deposit on the account are rather enticing for a newbie, even though in most cases these are sure signs of a bucket shop.
For example, let’s look at Zurich Prime Forex broker.
The company attracts attention due to a large number of negative reviews to be found in public access on various forums. Traders complain of money disappearing from accounts and impossibility to withdraw funds. In the review section of the broker’s app for Android in Google Play, users directly describe the company’s business as fraudulent, stating gross incompetence of its representatives.
Zurich Prime’s official website says that the company is part of a larger U-Nex Solutions registered in Romania and subject to its legislation. Everything seems to be quite legitimate, and no doubt arises as to good faith of the company at the first glance. However, what stands out is the fact that the broker holds no license from any regulating authority. Such reputable regulators as the FCA and OSC state that, though Zurich Prime conducts its business in their area of jurisdiction, it holds no corresponding license.
On top of that, the OSC, the official Ontario broker regulator, warns traders that Zurich Prime has no right to conduct its business outside Canada, including Ukraine and Russia.
All the above is reinforced with massive negative feedback from traders that lost a lot of money working with this company.
How come some traders still want to work with this broker, even though it does not have a regulator? It is attractive because it offers its clients a choice of trading accounts and an Islamic account without swaps. It also has a wide range of tradable assets: currency pairs, CFDs for various trading instruments, indices, commodities, and shares. However, the amount of the initial deposit is baffling. A broker without a license (meaning the client’s money is not secured with anything) sets a rather large sum of $500. Another disconcerting fact: the company’s website states that a client may receive a bonus of 100% of the deposit, but there is no information readily available about the conditions of receiving the bonus. Highly likely, this is just a trick to lure new clients who, despite the reviews on the Internet, still decide to have a go at this bucket shop.
And now let’s proceed to noteworthy mentions in 2019 reviews by traders that lost quite a bit of money using Zurich Prime. Here are some authentic comments of users that traded with Zurich Prime:
“Traded on the Zurich Prime platform, one day they switched the manager that coaxed me out of $15,000 for an allegedly successful IPO. Of course there was nothing of the sort, then they drained a half of my deposit with unrealistically large swaps and blocked the account the day after. In short, it’s a downright rip-off. Please advise on what to do in this case”.
“Zurich Prime is a swindle, they drain your money then siphon off your deposit”.
Another cheated trader states that the broker sets the quotes for certain assets at its own discretion, which is unreal. Since the broker does not have a regulator, there is nobody to control it.
“I write this so that others don’t fall for this trick, will attach all contact information, etc. I saved my correspondence by Skype, e-mail, transaction results – can send the whole lot. Traded from 4.09.18 till 14.11.18. To put it shortly, they are scammers, but good at it. I saw an ad of the RFM company, then worked with a manager called Andrey Smirnov, through the Zurich Prime platform. Neither has a license to trade. Companies without a license are not allowed to post ads. There are two ways to circumnavigate this: to advertise as training courses or to put the word “trading” in English. I asked for a license but was told fairy tales, and lawyers didn’t even want to get involved. The advantage of a license is that the authority that issues it may control the company, and in the event of a fraud may protect the investor. If there is no license, the broker may set its own currency rates that are very different from the realistic ones. There are two authorities that issue licenses. One is the CBR that at the time has issued 8 licenses, and these two companies, naturally, are not in the list. And then there’s the CROFR. Allegedly, the two I worked with abandoned the international licenses because of the sanctions, and there was a prolongation procedure going on in Russia. I asked in the beginning of September 2018, and they still have no license. Say, you deposited $ 1,000, opened a trade and bought roubles, for example, because there was information that the rouble would grow. But suddenly the exchange rate went the other way, you went red, and the trade was closed. And the rouble you would notice, but not some kiwi. That is, nobody is controlling them, and they may set the exchange rate as they please. Their scheme is like this: you deposit $150 and trade, the broker displays amazing results. I earned 30% in almost 20 days. Then they want you to deposit a lot of money, saying it’s either you are on your own from that point on, or they want to see at least $1,500-2,000 on the account. To double check, I withdrew my $150, then deposited $800, and the broker started working miracles and showing more interest, allegedly since he started getting a higher percentage, he started calling me more, etc. The account grew to approximately $1,250, which is also about 30% more, and I told him more money is coming soon. When I deposited $400 more, a couple more of successful trades were open, then they siphoned off the whole account in 5 transactions, all $1,876 of it. It was the election day in the USA, and the day after there was some information, and using this data, my broker Andrey Smirnov, in my opinion, opened patently false trades on the kiwi (NZD), stressing that the currency will sink, but it has kept growing stronger and stronger for two weeks. All this time the currency was hovering at a critical level, and they told me I should add more money to weather the storm, and when no more money came from me in almost two weeks, the trades were closed for lack of funds. There are three reasons why I believe I was cheated. 1) I had told my broker that I was depositing $400 but intended to make no further deposits till April. 2) The broker received information about the USA election and other, which enabled him to make a prediction, and advised me to open false trades. 3) There were a total of 57 trades over 2 months, 50 of which were successful and closed within an hour on the average. The revenue was more than 30% over about 20-30 days. I opened one trade for $-13 wrong. One trade was wrongly predicted by the broker, but we went green in a week. And the last 5 transactions drained everything from the account. Since the broker found out that there is no more money to be had from me, plus the information about the currency, and decided to dump me. There’s this scheme on the Internet, I don’t know all of it, but the point is that when they drain an account at, say the Zurich Prime platform, their partner, the RFM company, gets 30%. And by the way, Zurich Prime is not based in Zurich but in the UK and has no relation to Zurich. I would also like to point out that I had no wish to learn trading but I wanted to use the Account Manager service. They only teach technical analysis there, but I stand no chance against a specialist that uses data and the news background, plus does it together with his colleagues and a whole department of analysts. I strictly adhered to instructions of my broker, and my broker was A. Smirnov.”
The broker often promises high gains, thus attracting inexperienced traders. But if a client wants to withdraw its money, the con artists of Zurich Prime simply vanish:
“Swindle, they promise a lot, the bottom line is they took my deposit and that’s it, the phone is switched off, as good as gone, I lost a lot of money with them, don’t fall for their promises, they don’t fulfil any of them”.
All this adds up to Zurich Prime being a veritable company of swindlers that “reward” its clients with sizeable losses. Before choosing a certain broker, traders ought to carefully study the feedback by other users not to fall prey to another scam.
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