One of Europe’s top regulators, the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission, has added five websites to its list of unauthorized trading platforms. The latest brokers to be flagged are not registered Cypriot Investment Firms (CIFs).
Illegal Trading Websites
inforexeu.com, emporiumcapital.ltd, et-fx.com, metexo.com, and nbimarkets.com were added to CySEC’s warning list on 25 January 2023. The websites are offering risky products to retail traders, including CFDs, forex, and cryptocurrencies. Some of the firms are also offering leverage above the level permitted by the EU regulator (1:30).
Four of the websites continue to solicit and encourage sign-ups while inforexeu.com is no longer responsive. Despite slick marketing materials and the promise of low fees, prospective traders should avoid the four websites that are still operational.
The statement from the European regulator noted: “The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission wishes to inform investors that the websites do not belong to an entity which has been granted an authorization for the provision of investment services and/or the performance of investment activities, as provided for in Article 5 of Law 87 (I)/2017.”
How To Avoid Unauthorized Trading Firms
Regulators are constantly working to identify and caution retail traders against illegal platforms. Cyprus, in particular, has become a hotspot for aspiring brokers, enabling them to target traders throughout the European Economic Area (EEA). Many firms falsely claim to hold a license from the CySEC in an attempt to elevate their profile and credibility.
Fortunately, traders can take several steps to verify the legitimacy of a broker and find a secure provider:
- Check licensing details – The CySEC, as well as other leading regulators like the UK’s FCA and US FINRA, have an online database where traders can check whether a brokerage is registered.
- Read reviews – Trusted brokers come recommended and have positive reviews from credible sources. Be wary of firms with limited publicly available information and a short track record.
- Be wary of misleading advertising – Avoid trading firms that promise easy money or huge returns. Online trading is risky, and many traders lose money. CySEC-regulated brokers should publish a warning on their website that shows the percentage of their customers that lose funds.
- Look for safety measures – EU-regulated brokers offer negative balance protection, meaning you can’t lose more than you deposit into your account. Trustworthy firms also use segregated accounts, meaning company capital is kept separate from traders’ funds.
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