Beware! CT-Trade is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
RECOMMENDED FOREX BROKERS
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Open trading accounts with at least two brokers.
CT-Trade is a broker that advertises trading in forex and binary options. They offer 4 types of accounts – Takeoff, Standard, Premium and VIP – differing in the minimum deposit amount, from $250 to $10,000, and the Bonuses they come with. There is no demo account available.
From the very beginning, there are a number of things raising a red flag – social media icons at the bottom of the website open the same page in a new window, while the Trading Signals link in the header menu is broken:
We attempted to sign up for an account, but that also turned out to be difficult. The Registration and Sign up buttons on the home page were also broken; only the ones from the Accounts page, Open Account, actually worked. The form required the submission of our first and last names, email address, phone number and country, as well as to select a password. It also did not work, however – we did not get a success message or confirmation email. Hoping it maybe was successful, we tried to login, but the page was also broken.
CT-Trade Regulation and safety of funds
In the broker’s website we see an address in Warsaw, Poland and a phone number with a UK prefix. Trying to find out more about the company’s regulation, we checked the legal links under Regulation in the screenshot above. To no surprise, these links did not work too. What we noticed, however, was that they linked to pages at a “.com” domain, while the broker’s was a “.co”. Removing the “m” from the URL we were able to open the links.
To induce legitimacy in the Terms and Conditions the broker has included a clause that the “Agreement and the relationship between the parties shall be governed by, and interpreted in accordance with, the laws of Cyprus”, while the Cookies policy mentions another entity – Rodeler Limited. Researching the latter we found out that in June of this year, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), which regulates forex trading in the EU has suspended its authorisation, which carries significant consequences as can be seen below:
As if this was not enough, we also discovered that the other major European regulatory agency, UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has issued a warning that CT-Trade is a fraudster – a clone of an FCA authorised firm. Although the fraudsters have changed their website’s domain, the email and the physical address in Poland are the same as the ones on their website.
Considering everything above, the broker’s claims that they “100% guarantee the safety of funds” is nothing but a false promise. Instead, we would recommend choosing from the lists of CySEC or FCA regulated brokers, which truly abide by the guidelines these watchdog agencies impose. Their rules and regulations include Minimum Capital Requirements for the broker of €730 000 to guarantee their good financial standing, as well as participation in Compensation Schemes that provide additional guarantees to investors’ funds in case the broker goes bankrupt – up to 85,000 GBP in the UK and 20,000 EUR in the EU. Their licensees must also follow the Client Account Segregation requirement – clients’ money must be kept separate from the broker’s operating funds, and a Negative Balance Protection policy – traders may not lose more than the initially invested funds.
Regulation and licensing is the most important thing one should look to when selecting a broker to invest with – it is more important than the trading platform or conditions it provides. In the absence of these, we have to warn our readers that their funds would not be safe with an unregulated entity such as CT-Trade.
CT-Trade Trading Software
We have no idea what trading platform the broker provides because as can be expected by now the Trade Now link at the top of the site was broken. We saw that they advertise a “New Trading Platform 2018” with “quotes coinciding with the MT4”, but this could not be verified.
Respectable forex brokers provide access to established trading software for their traders, such as the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) or MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platforms. MT4 is the world’s leading platform, preferred by more than 80% of users. It features an intuitive, user-friendly interface, advanced charting and analysis tools, as well as copy- and auto-trading options. It is customizable using the proprietary MQL4 programming language, with which one can create different trading strategies. Its successor, MT5, has some advantages – it allows traders to execute trades on different financial markets through a single account and there is a hedging option. Both platforms are available as desktop and mobile (iOS and Android) application as well.
The trading conditions the broker offers are also a mystery since we could not even register an account with them. There is no mention of spreads or leverage anywhere in their website. We should note, however, that regulatory authorities in Europe and the US impose a leverage cap for retail brokers of 1:30 and 1:50, respectively.
CT-Trade Deposit/Withdrawal Methods And Fees
In the footer of the broker’s website there are the logos of several payment methods – credit / debit cards VISA and MasterCard and e-wallets Skrill, Neteller and Qiwi. Although the fees and processing times they list were not outrageous, there is no way to confirm them.
From the Accounts they offer we learn that the minimum deposit requirement is $250 and there are some enticing bonuses. Regulated brokers do not offer bonuses or promotions as the governing bodies prohibit these.
By the end of our review the entire website collapsed and started returning a “can’t be reached” error message. We had seen enough to know that CT-Trade is scam broker that should not be trusted to invest money with them.
How does the scam work?
This section is dedicated to showing how the most common scams work. Usually they are pretty simple and straightforward. Through internet ads promising quick and easy profits from forex trading potential traders are induced to enter their personal information, such as email and phone number. Once the users input this information, they will start receiving unsolicited calls from illegitimate broker representatives whose job is to persuade them to make the first deposit of about 300 USD, from which they make a fat commission. When this is done, the traders are transferred to senior scammers who are very good talkers and will start working on them to deposit even more money. At this time, if not earlier, most people will start suspecting some fraudulent activity and will want to withdraw their funds.
This however often proves impossible to do as the scammers put all their resources into convincing them that now is not the right time or that such action will lose them a lot of money in “potential profits”. If the users persist, these con-artists will find a number of excuses, usually hidden in the clauses of the accepted agreements, to delay withdrawal requests for as long as possible. The end purpose is to miss the limited time period for filing a chargeback with their bank and thus lose any chance of getting their money back.
What to do when scammed?
If you have deposited with VISA or MasterCard there is still a chance to get you money back since recently both companies extended their chargeback period to 540 days, especially when an online scam is involved.
Scammers will not stop at stealing directly from your bank account if you have provided sufficient details, so if this is the case be sure to change your password or security code right away.
Also beware of being scammed again by so-called “recovery agents”. They will ask you to pay a fee to recover your losses, but after paying them you will never hear from them again.
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